Agvet regulator finalises carbendazim and carbaryl reviews: further restrictions for both chemicals

15 August 2012
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The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has finalised the reviews of two agricultural pesticides—an insecticide carbaryl and a fungicide carbendazim—and further restricted the uses of these chemicals.

"I'm pleased we've finalised a number of remaining elements for the reviews and can now provide certainty for users of these chemicals", Pesticides Program Manager, Dr Raj Bhula, said.

Carbendazim is used for control of a wide range of fungal diseases such as mould, mildew, rot and blight in a variety of crops.

A number of uses were prohibited in July 2010 due to concerns about dietary and public exposure risks. The final review actions have removed some additional uses from product labels due to a lack of data to confirm residue levels or to address identified worker health and safety concerns.

Newly discontinued commercial uses include roses, strawberries, pasture, clover, ginger seed pieces, sugar cane setts and post-harvest treatment of bananas. These uses of carbendazim will be subject to a two-year phase-out period. New data may be submitted at any time to support these uses, if identified risks can be modified or reduced. .

The new carbendazim labels still allow use on chickpeas, faba beans, lentils, vetch and macadamia nuts. In addition, there is one timber protection product for commercial use only.

Current permits allowing the use of carbendazim on garlic, mung beans, pyrethrum, onions for seed and mushrooms were not included in the review. These uses will continue and be assessed in line with the review findings.

While the carbendazim review is now finalised, the chemical has been prioritised for a separate spray drift review, which could result in further regulatory action.

Carbaryl is used to control insect pests in a broad range of agricultural situations, including on fruit and vegetables, stored grain, ornamentals, lawns and around buildings. It was also used to control insects on domestic animals.

In 2007 the completion of Part 1 of the review of carbaryl discontinued the use of dusts and use on food plants in home gardens. Now, some uses of carbaryl products in agricultural situations have also been discontinued, restrictions added to others and some uses retained.

"Under the most recent decision for carbaryl, certain uses were deleted. Withholding periods, re-entry intervals and personal protective equipment requirements have been updated. Safety directions and warning statements have also been strengthened," Dr Bhula said.

"Registrants of carbaryl products used in agricultural situations have already voluntarily amended labels in line with the review's findings.

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