During the period of public consultation, several submissions were received regarding ceasing the use of azinphos-methyl on apricots, the need for a 100 metre buffer zone and the proposed limitation to two sprays per season. In response, the APVMA conducted revised assessments. As the use of azinphos-methyl on apricots was not found to adversely affect human health, the assessment resulted in support for the continued use of azinphos-methyl on apricots. Its use on kiwifruit and citrus was not supported. In addition, restraint statements were revised to further minimise potential aquatic, environmental and bee exposure to azinphos-methyl. These changes have been outlined in the Azinphos-methyl review findings report (released July 2011). The key findings from this report are as follows:
- Ongoing approval of azinphos-methyl active is supported.
- Amendments to label particulars are proposed.
- Ongoing registration of products containing azinphos-methyl is supported at this time, pending further consideration with regard to the APVMA spray drift operating principles.
Registrants have voluntarily amended product labels in line with the current review findings and in response to information provided by the APVMA. The APVMA has decided to accept the registrants’ voluntary label amendments, as they address the concerns identified as reasons to review azinphos-methyl registration and approvals.
In accepting the voluntary label changes, the APVMA recognises that the label statements relating to spray drift were derived from methodology developed prior to 2006, and do not reflect the current spray drift operating principles. Products containing azinphos-methyl will therefore be listed as a priority for spray drift review. The APVMA is continuing to work with its external advisory agencies on a framework for spray drift. As a result, the priority list of chemicals (including azinphos-methyl) for spray drift label review is an indicative list which is likely to change with time as we formulate our spray drift assessment framework.
Given that there is regulatory action for azinphos-methyl in overseas countries, the APVMA will examine overseas regulatory reports for any additional information or studies that might be relevant for the continued registration and approval of azinphos-methyl in Australia.