Trifluralin batch withdrawn; APVMA investigations continue

23 July 2012
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A problematic batch of the herbicide trifluralin will be recalled following investigations by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). The trifluralin, imported from China and distributed in Western Australia, was discoloured and odorous and the subject of reports that exposure to the product made people nauseous.

"The APVMA has actively investigated the issue since becoming aware of the problems in March", said APVMA's Compliance Manager, Dr Jan Klaver.

"Despite some initial concerns, we have now determined the product was registered but that it was formulated with an unknown solvent.

"With the cooperation of the West Australian product registrant, warehouse stocks were quarantined and a chemical analysis of the solvent conducted, which showed that the wrong solvent had been used", Dr Klaver said.

The APVMA has discussed these findings with the registrant and the Chinese manufacturers and the product will be subject to a voluntary recall and is to be returned to China.

"This is a very positive outcome. The high level of cooperation the APVMA has received from the registrant and the manufacturer has been very gratifying and has allowed this issue to be resolved relatively quickly.

"We are yet to confirm whether or not there are problems with any other trifluralin products and our investigations are continuing", Dr Klaver said.

Farmers who are concerned about their trifluralin supplies will need to contact their supplier who should have details of any voluntary recall arrangements in place.

"We remind farmers to report any adverse experiences they have using farm chemicals. For further information about lodging an adverse experience report, call 1800 700 583, or download the reporting form from the APVMA website at

"Information about product irregularities—such as substandard performance, unusual appearance, or lack of an APVMA approval number or product label—should be reported to our Compliance hotline on 1300 700 315", Dr Klaver said.

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