2,4-D

2,4-D (2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) is a common chlorophenoxy herbicide used for the post-emergent control of broadleaf weeds. It is also used as a plant growth regulator for some fruit crops. There are around 220 products containing 2,4-D registered for use in Australia. 2,4-D has been registered for use for over 50 years.

1. Background

In 2003, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) began its reconsideration of 2,4-D because of concerns over risks to human health (including occupational health and safety) and the environment (including impacts on waterways, non-target animals and plants).

To address the risks presented by spray drift the APVMA undertook regulatory actions in 2005, 2013, 2018 and 2019 to strengthen label instructions, label restraints and label warnings in order to reduce those risks. The adequacy of instructions and warnings on product labels was also considered.

In 2018 and 2019 the APVMA suspended the label approvals of agricultural and commercial products containing 2,4-D and issued new instructions through a permit to reduce spray drift occurrences and damage to off target crops for the summer spray seasons.

On 24 October 2019, the APVMA published its proposed regulatory decisions in respect to the reconsideration of 2,4-D. The public consultation on the proposed regulatory decisions ran from 24 October 2019 to 31 January 2020.

On 3 September 2020, following consideration of the 15 submissions received during the consultation period, the APVMA published the final regulatory decisions in respect to the review. At the same time as the final regulatory decisions, a proposed decision was made to suspend subsequently approved labels and cancel prior approved labels so that all labels in the market will comply with the final regulatory decisions. Following the end of the consultation period and consideration of the two submissions received, a decision was made on 30 September 2020 to suspend subsequently approved labels and cancel prior approved labels.

2. For users of 2,4-D products

The instructions for use for 2,4-D products have been updated.

Information about the required variation to the labels is in the Gazette notice for the final regulatory decisions for the reconsideration.

2,4-D products bearing suspended or cancelled labels may continue to be used in accordance with the new instructions, which are in the Gazette of 30 September 2020.

People should follow the use and safety instructions on all chemical product labels as these are designed to reduce human exposure to the chemical product. If the label has been removed or damaged, you can search the APVMA’s chemical database to find information about registered products and permits.

2,4-D products bearing a suspended or cancelled label cannot be supplied or used from 1 October 2021.

3. For suppliers of 2,4-D products

The instructions for supply of 2,4-D products bearing suspended or cancelled labels are included in the Gazette of 30 September 2020. The supply of the product bearing a cancelled or suspended label may only take place in accordance with the following conditions (new supply instructions):

For products manufactured prior to 1 October 2020: at the time of supply, the supplier must provide to the person taking possession or custody of the product bearing a suspended or cancelled label a copy of the new supply instructions.

Or

For products manufactured on or after 1 October 2020: either a copy of the new supply instructions or the current approved label must be securely affixed to each container of the product.

2,4-D products bearing a suspended or cancelled label cannot be supplied or used from 1 October 2021.

4. For holders of 2,4-D product registrations

In order to ensure the timely implementation of the final regulatory decisions and continued access to 2,4-D products, all holders are required to update their labels as soon as practical. Model labels for each product group are available on this page under More information.

Instructions for the supply of 2,4-D products are available on this page under For suppliers of 2,4-D products.

The APVMA will assess reports of suspected noncompliance in accordance with the published guidance, including the Case Categorisation and Prioritisation Model.

2,4-D products bearing a suspended or cancelled label cannot be supplied or used from 1 October 2021.

5. More information

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