Proposed changes to omethoate safety and use instructions

4 May 2016
Reference Code: 
2016-01

The APVMA is proposing changes to the instructions for use of products containing omethoate following a review of the scientific data.

A comprehensive review of a variety of scientific data and use pattern information, along with analysis of submissions from growers and industry, has now been completed by the APVMA and the proposed regulatory decision has been released for public comment.

Dr Raj Bhula, Executive Director of Scientific Assessment and Chemical Review said after considering the scientific evidence in relation to toxicology, occupational health and safety and residues—including dietary exposure and trade—we are proposing to remove most uses of omethoate due to health and safety concerns.

‘Most of the currently approved uses of omethoate can pose undue risks to human health through dietary and occupational exposure and for this reason we are proposing to remove all home garden food plant, horticultural, pasture, grain legume and cereal uses that may result in residues of omethoate on edible crops,’ Dr Bhula said.

‘We are also proposing amendments to the safety directions and first aid instructions for all product labels and to add re-entry periods to protect workers re-entering treated areas,’ Dr Bhula said.

Use of omethoate will remain for both home garden and horticultural products for ornamental plants, and as a barrier spray against red-legged earth mite around broad-acre crops.

Consultation on the proposed regulatory decision report is now open and submissions are invited from interested parties until 4 August 2016.

Consultation on the report

During this consultation period the APVMA is seeking relevant information from farmers and other user groups that may be helpful to refine the findings or to propose changes to the instructions for use.

Dr Bhula encouraged growers and nursery industry representatives to put in a submission if they want to identify important uses that could be included, such as use during early crop development.

‘Raising these issues with the APVMA means we can consider them as part of finalising the regulatory decision,’ Dr Bhula said.

Alternative chemicals

There are registered alternative chemicals available for every use that is proposed to be removed. Grower groups and the nursery industry were consulted during the development of the proposed regulatory decision and now have further opportunity to comment during this consultation period.

About omethoate

Omethoate is a broadspectrum organophosphorus (OP) insecticide used to control insects and mites in the home garden, horticulture and broadacre cropping.

As with all other OP pesticides, omethoate kills mites and insects by interfering with the nervous system. At toxic levels, omethoate interferes with the human nervous system. Safety standards are set well below toxic levels to protect product users and the community.

For more information about the omethoate review and consultation process visit the APVMA website.

Further information: Virginia Stanhope | Director, Public Affairs | 0467 726 486 | media@apvma.gov.au

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