Banned pesticide for food grown in Western Australia

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 22nd November 2012

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) has made exceptions for some Western Australian fruit and vegetable growers to use a pesticide banned in the rest of Australia.

Australian Food News reported on 16th October 2012 that the APVMA had recommended suspension of the use of fenthion, a common fruit fly control chemical, after it was reported that dietary exposure in young children was a health risk.

The APVMA has allowed the use of fenthion on certain crops in WA despite the concerns about risks of harmful exposure to children and wider environmental concerns.

Western Australia has been granted exceptions to use fenthion on crops such as citrus, cherries, lemons and limes.

The APVMA has also imposed certain ‘modify use patterns’ on the use of fenthion on particular crops Australia-wide, such as apples, stone fruit and grapes. Modified use patterns include lower rates, less sprays of longer withholding periods.

Fenthion has been listed as a moderately toxic compound according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization.

A complete list of the suspended and allowed uses of fenthion in Australia can be found at the APVMA website.

APVMA releases new ‘chemical database’ iPhone App

Meanwhile, the APVMA has released an iPhone application which provides users which a searchable database of over 10,500 agricultural and veterinary chemicals approved in Australia.

The database provides users with information about registered chemical products available to treat a specific insect pest, as well as information about active constituents, withholding periods and product labels.

The application is available for free from the iTunes store.