US Government bans pesticide endosulfan

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 10th June 2010

One of the pesticides at the centre of the Sunland Fish Hatchery spray-drift dispute, endosulfan, will be immediately phased out by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Endosulfan, which was used on vegetables, fruits and cotton in the US, has been banned because it “can pose unacceptable neurological and reproductive risks to farmworkers and wildlife and can persist in the environment.”

The EPA stated that, while endosulfan does not present a risk to human health from dietary exposure, new data have suggested that the risks of endosulfan are greater than were previously known, including risks to aquatic and terrestrial wildlife who consume the substance on plants, and to animals higher up the food chain.

In Australia, use of endosulfan is tightly regulated by APVMA, who have asked the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts to review new scientific information on endosulfan, particularly in regard to ‘long-range environmental transport’ – the movement of the pesticide through the environment and the food chain.

Growcom and the Queensland horticulture industry have released a statement that they will comply with any decisions made by APVMA.