Proposed suspension of some fenthion uses

11 September 2012
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The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is proposing to suspend a number of uses of fenthion, a chemical used to control fruit fly and other insects, following release of a new report showing there is potential for short-term dietary exposure of young children to be at levels above the relevant public health standard.

The APVMA's residues and dietary exposure report published today shows that a 2–6 year old child eating certain fruits and vegetables treated with fenthion may be exposed to  residues  higher than the public health standard.

"As the regulator, it is the APVMA's responsibility to ensure that agricultural chemicals can continue to be used safely. These findings are a trigger to take action to ensure that consumers remain protected", said APVMA's Pesticides Program Manager, Dr Raj Bhula.

The report recommends removal of a number of uses such as pre-harvest uses of fenthion on apples, pears, citrus, loquats, quince, stonefruit, pepinos, eggplant and tomatoes and post-harvest uses on fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes. Uses on all food crops in the home garden may also be suspended.

Information is requested that may assist in developing suspension instructions. Relevant information should be provided to the APVMA by 25 September.

Fenthion is not registered on food plants in the European Union, USA, Canada or New Zealand.

A preliminary review findings report for this aspect of the fenthion review will be published in the future.

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