The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) have announced it is extending the suspension of certain diuron registered products until 30 November 2012. In addition, APVMA has finalised its review of diuron for a number of products that are not subject to further outcomes of the environmental assessment. Diuron is used to control broadleaf and grass weeds in agriculture, and weeds and algae in and around water bodies. Todays announcement continues an initial suspension announced on 28 November 2011, which prohibited diuron use during the no spray window on a range of tropical crops such as sugarcane, tea, bananas, pineapples, coffee and paw paw, APVMA Pesticides Program Manager, Dr Raj Bhula, said. The suspension also prohibited use in a range of situations such as irrigation channels and drains in agricultural and industrial situations, Dr Bhula said. Instructions for the use of suspended products will be re-issued. They will not differ to those issued in November 2011 except for use in tropical situations, which will be allowed because it is outside the no spray window defined in the original suspension. The APVMA will finalise its review of diuron after receiving a final environmental assessment report from the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC). One hundred and thirteen submissions were received in response to the environmental assessment that was published in July 2011. Submissions were received from registrants, diuron chemical users, user groups, state governments and environmental groups, Dr Bhula said. Some of the material – which included data from the Reef Monitoring Program – is quite substantial and contains new studies and information in relation to the use and impacts of diuron, so it will require careful consideration, Dr Bhula said. In the absence of a final environmental assessment the APVMA is not making a regulatory decision at this time. Once this final assessment is received, the authority will take at least 12 weeks to develop regulatory outcomes for the future of diuron, before the review is finalised. In addition to the continuing suspensions the APVMA has finalised the diuron review for: active constituent approvals (approval of suppliers of diuron to product manufacturers) antifouling paints (continued registration with variations to two label instructions) pond and aquarium products (continued registration) cotton defoliation products (registration after variations to label instructions). The environmental assessment report published in July 2011 indicated no concerns with these uses and they will continue to be approved. Further details regarding the suspension and review of diuron are available on the APVMA website.
The Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicine Authority, 27 March 2012 ;http://www.apvma.gov.au ;