Agvet chemical regulator investigates problems with trifluralin in WA

9 July 2012
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The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is investigating public concerns and reports from Western Australia that a particular batch of a widely used farm chemical, trifluralin, is leading to farmers becoming ill or nauseous.

Trifluralin is widely used for pre-emergent control of a number of weeds in broadacre cropping situations (wheat, barley, canola).

As well as receiving several individual reports since March 2012, the APVMA was also alerted to these concerns by the Western Australian Farmers' Federation in late June.

"We have made extensive inquiries regarding allegations that the problem batch was unregistered, discoloured and odorous", said APVMA's Compliance Manager, Dr Jan Klaver.

"While trifluralin is a registered chemical, we have reviewed some independent analyses and are conducting an assessment of the risks, if any, of using these products.

"We also want to make sure we get details and reports from anyone who believes they've been adversely affected by trifluralin products.

"The APVMA has an adverse experience reporting program, which can be accessed from our website or by phoning us for further information. It's important we get full details, especially from anyone who has had to seek medical advice or treatment resulting from their use of trifluralin products.

"We encourage WA 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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