ENDOSULFAN registration cancelled

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On the 12th of Octo­ber, 2010, the Aus­tralian Pes­ti­cides and Vet­eri­nary Med­i­cines Author­i­ty (APVMA) announced the imme­di­ate can­cel­la­tion of all prod­uct reg­is­tra­tions and label approvals for all insec­ti­cides con­tain­ing endo­sul­fan.

This deci­sion fol­lows a recent assess­ment of new infor­ma­tion by the Depart­ment of Sus­tain­abil­i­ty, Envi­ron­ment, Water, Pop­u­la­tion and Com­mu­ni­ties (DSEWPC) that the pro­longed use of endo­sul­fan is like­ly to lead to adverse envi­ron­men­tal effects via spray drift and run-off.

Whilst the can­cel­la­tion took effect from 12 Octo­ber, the APVMA has put in place a two-year phase-out peri­od for endo­sul­fan use. This means that until 12 Octo­ber, 2012, exist­ing stocks of endo­sul­fan can be sold and used accord­ing to label instruc­tions. After this date, the pos­ses­sion, sale and use of endo­sul­fan prod­ucts will become an offence.

Risks to human health were not a fac­tor in the APVMA deci­sion. While recent and emerg­ing tox­i­co­log­i­cal data was assessed by the Office of Chem­i­cal Safe­ty and Envi­ron­men­tal Health, it has been deter­mined that the cur­rent reg­u­la­to­ry regime has been effec­tive in man­ag­ing these risks.

Some of the new envi­ron­men­tal data on which the APVMA’s deci­sion is based emerged fol­low­ing the recent nom­i­na­tion of endo­sul­fan to the Stock­holm Con­ven­tion on Per­sis­tent Organ­ic Pol­lu­tants (POPs). This nom­i­na­tion focussed more atten­tion on endo­sul­fan and pro­duced a large vol­ume of new infor­ma­tion on its envi­ron­men­tal fate and effects. Endo­sul­fan has already been banned in more than 60 coun­tries.

For cot­ton there are numer­ous alter­na­tives to endo­sul­fan.  For sum­mer grains/pulses, all post emer­gent endo­sul­fan reg­is­tra­tions have pre­vi­ous­ly been banned and alter­na­tives are already being used. How­ev­er, some of these options are not as selec­tive as endo­sul­fan, par­tic­u­lar­ly the syn­thet­ic pyrethroids. This high­lights the need for new alter­na­tive pes­ti­cides for suck­ing pests in par­tic­u­lar, that are at least as or more selec­tive than endo­sul­fan.  More selec­tive suck­ing pest options would great­ly assist in the man­age­ment of prob­lem­at­ic pests such as SLW and aphids.

Fol­low the link to the APVMA web­site to read the press release and more back­ground infor­ma­tion on which the APVMA has based its deci­sion.

Reg­is­tra­tion of endo­sul­fan can­celled in Aus­tralia: