Diuron product registrations affirmed with significant use changes

28 November 2012
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The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has today announced the outcomes of its review of diuron, a herbicide used for the control of agricultural weeds and weeds and algae in and around water bodies.

"Today's announcement, affirming the registration of most diuron products, but with significant changes to their conditions of use, will bring much-needed certainty to users of these products", said APVMA spokesperson, Ms Susan Whitbread.

"The restrictions we've put in place are very specific for individual crops, and in the case of sugarcane and pineapple, additional seasonal 'no-spray windows' apply.

"While the overall changes are complex, the APVMA has taken a very pragmatic and tailored approach to local use and conditions. We have made a considerable effort to develop workable instructions for the continued use of diuron, while ensuring we can effectively manage risks from the use of this environmentally mobile and persistent chemical.

"Some uses, including industrial applications and use in non-agricultural situations, citrus, apples and pears, ornamental plants and tropical crops such as tea, coffee and pawpaw will no longer be approved.

"Other uses have been restricted significantly, including reduced rates of application, application on relatively flat land, no spraying when heavy or persistent rain is forecast and spraydrift buffer zones. There are further restrictions for higher levels of application on sugarcane and pineapples through the use of region and season specific 'no-spray windows'", said Ms Whitbread.

The APVMA's review of diuron commenced in 2002 because of environmental and human health concerns, particularly the potential for diuron to contaminate waterways through agricultural runoff.

On 28 November 2011, the APVMA suspended the registration of selected diuron products—limiting diuron use across Australia including a 'no spray window' on a range of tropical crops such as sugarcane, tea, bananas, pineapples, coffee and pawpaw—while it considered further information and submissions to the review.

 "To ensure an orderly phasing in of the new arrangements, the APVMA has issued a permit for 12 months, to cover existing stock in the supply chain. This stock can continue to be used in accordance with the arrangements established under the suspension including a wet season 'no-spray window for some tropical crops'", said Ms Whitbread.

In September 2012, the APVMA published a Diuron Review Findings Report and following industry feedback, has now finalised the review.

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