Chemical regulator considers action on fenamiphos

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) have announced that it proposes to take regulatory action on the chemical fenamiphos, following the recent publication of a preliminary review findings report. The report finds that some uses of fenamiphos products may pose an undue risk to the environment and public health. APVMA’s Executive Director, Pesticides, Dr Raj Bhula says “The preliminary review proposes that some fenamiphos uses on food crops should no longer be allowed. “The environmental risk assessment report highlights a potentially unacceptable risk to birds, aquatic and terrestrial organisms”, said Dr Bhula. “The concern with fenamiphos is that it is toxic to environmental organisms. In soil, fenamiphos and its metabolites have been shown to leach to groundwater, where the chemical may remain for a considerable amount of time.” The main food crops of concern are bananas, carrots, brassicas (broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower), ginger, parsnips, pineapples, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, aloe, citrus, grapes, mushrooms and sugar cane. “The problem with a number of these food crops is we don’t have enough information at this stage to be satisfied that fenamiphos can be used safely”, said Dr Bhula. The APVMA is inviting submissions and comments on the preliminary report for a three-month period until 31 May 2013. “We are calling on users and grower groups to provide us with any new information or data, before we make our final regulatory decision”, said Dr Bhula. Fenamiphos is an organophosphorus chemical widely used in agriculture to control soil-borne pests, particularly nematodes, and sucking insects including aphids and thrips. Fenamiphos can be applied as a pre- or post-plant treatment in food and other crops, as well as turf. There are currently 16 fenamiphos products registered in Australia. Fenamiphos has been under review since 2003. Further information is available at: Fenamiphos review

APVMA, 26 February 2013 ; ;