Regulatory update #156

30 August 2012

Changes to APVMA corporate structure

From Monday 3 September 2012, Mr Neville Matthews (currently General Manager, Better Regulation Taskforce) will be returning to his substantive position as Program Manager, Regulatory Strategy and Compliance Program. Dr Simon Cubit (currently Acting Program Manager, Regulatory Strategy and Compliance Program) will return to his substantive position as Manager, Public Affairs.

APVMA to review science on pesticides and bee health

Concerns in Europe and the USA about the potential for insecticides to impact on the health of honey bees and other insect pollinators have created some anxiety among Australian beekeepers who have noted that many of the neonicotinoids used overseas are also used here. Of particular interest is whether a particular class of insecticides, the neonicotinoids, might have sub-lethal effects on bees, which may reduce their ability to pollinate plants and produce honey.

Accordingly, the APVMA has commenced an investigation of the scientific literature to determine whether:

  • use of neonicotinoids in Australia presents any more of a risk to honey bee health than other pesticides that have been in use for many years
  • current APVMA data requirements for testing of insecticides are adequate to address any potential effects of neonicotinoids on bees.

The outcomes of our investigation will be published by early 2013.

Voluntary recalls of trifluralin underway in WA, Vic and NSW

Following investigations commencing in March 2012, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has agreed to a voluntary recall of a number of problematic batches of the herbicide trifluralin and is continuing to investigate others. All recalls are the result of products being formulated with an unknown solvent.

The trifluralin, imported from China and distributed in Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, was discoloured and odorous and the subject of reports that exposure to the product made people nauseous.

Four registrants currently have recalls involving five products underway; investigations continue on a further three registrants and three products.

Operational notice—APVMA approach to products derived from neem tree

An operational notice outlining the APVMA’s approach to neem-derived products that are of regulatory interest has been extended to 15 August 2015. These products are of direct regulatory interest to the APVMA.

Various products derived from the neem tree (Azadirachta indica) are supplied and used in Australia for a variety of purposes, including in agriculture and as pesticides. These can take the form of seed, leaf, bark, gum, flowers or fruits presented in an unprocessed state or processed using various methods to produce neem oil, neem cake, neem coir or other form.

Reminder—open for public consultation

The APVMA is currently seeking comment on:


Advice Summaries published since last issue are listed below. For a complete list and further information, please refer to the Advice Summaries content on our website.

  • Dupont Altriset Termiticide
  • Canopy Insecticide
  • Affirm Insecticide
  • Maxforce Complete Granular Insect Bait
  • Enviromax Fipronil 100sc Termiticide & Insecticide
  • Terbyne 750 WG Herbicide
  • Dupont Coragen Insecticide
  • Caninsulin Vetpen Insulin For Dogs And Cats
  • Melpat Copper Sulphate Molluscicide
  • Homeguard Termiflex Termiticidal Adhesive & Sealant
  • Imtrade Australia Pty Ltd
  • Intercept 480AC Turf Growth Regulator
  • Ultrathor Water Based Termiticide & Insecticide
  • Lineout Insecticide
  • Elanco AH0495 Elector PSP Animal Premise Spray

Application Summaries are updated weekly. For a complete list, please refer to the Application Summaries content on our website.

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