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NRA to meet with growers on Endosulfan changes

99/14 27 October 1999

Executive officers from the National Registration Authority for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals will meet with growers and community groups from cotton growing areas in NSW and Queensland about new safeguards in using the insecticide endosulfan.

With the start of the new cotton season and introduction of the tough new requirements, NRA Board Chairman, Dr John Keniry and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Alison Turner, will meet with growers in Narrabri and Moree from 2-3 November. They will then be in the St George area in Queensland on 4 November.

"We want to meet growers on their properties to talk about the changes and how they are being implemented," Dr Keniry said. "A key outcome in the NRA's review of endosulfan was to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the changes to endosulfan use so the NRA could determine whether further changes have to be made.

"It's very important that growers comply with the changes and we want to be sure they are being implemented correctly.

"If endosulfan is to remain available to the agricultural sector, it will take a significant commitment from everyone," he said.

The NRA review of endosulfan was released in August 1998 and a subsequent further consideration of the chemical occurred early this year following detection of unacceptable levels of residues in beef, which impacted on Australia's international trade.

"The new restrictions are aimed at reducing spray drift," Dr Keniry said. "This will further reduce the potential effects of endosulfan on worker safety and the environment and will help avoid contaminating cattle in properties that are close to cotton and other crops that use endosulfan."

The new requirements came into effect on 1 October. All endosulfan products must carry new labels and all users must follow the new label instructions. There are limitations on how and when endosulfan can be used, who is eligible to purchase and what specific information and records must be kept.

The restrictions have the most impact on cotton growers, who are heavy users of endosulfan, however anyone who uses the pesticide is affected by the changes.

"The NRA is working closely with State authorities to implement the new restrictions and guidelines that are aimed at reducing the risks associated with using endosulfan," Dr Keniry said.

"The cotton industry also understands the importance of the new regulations and has undertaken to inform all cotton growers of their responsibilities."

The NRA produced an information package that has been sent to cotton growers, retailers and other relevant industry associations. It includes:

  • specific information for cotton growers and retailers;

  • a general endosulfan fact sheet;

  • spray record for endosulfan users; and

  • a notice for advising neighbours of endosulfan spraying.

For further information contact: David Loschke 02 6272 5396 Helen Weldon 02 6272 3662

Attachments:

Background - New Endosolfan Safeguards

Itinerary for NRA Chair and CEO

BACKGROUND

New Endosulfan Safeguards

From 1 October 1999, new restrictions for the retail sale and use of endosulfan apply:

  • Endosulfan products can only be purchased by people who:

    • hold a State authorised chemical applicator's license, OR

    • are ChemCert (previously Farmcare) certified (National Farm Chemical User Certificate; ChemCert Australia Farm Chemical User Certificate; in Victoria, a Victorian Farm Chemical Users Certificate or holder of an Agricultural Chemical User Permit or in Queensland, a ChemSmart or Chemsafe Training Queensland Certificate or a Certificate of Agricultural Chemical Application issued by Qld Ag Chemicals accreditation Committee).

  • Chemical retailers must verify that each purchaser holds an acceptable accreditation and will note the certificate number and other relevant details in a record for the NRA.

  • There is now a limit on the number of applications of endosulfan allowed:

  • for all crops, except orchard crops, the limit is two full coverage sprays of endosulfan per crop per growth season unless irrigation and storm runoff water is captured on farm; and

  • for cotton only, the absolute maximum limit is three full coverage sprays of endosulfan product per crop per growth season.

  • All users of endosulfan products must keep records according to instructions found on the new approved label.

  • The withholding periods (WHP) for certain crops treated with endosulfan have changed. Growers must observe these new WHP's which are clearly set out on the new endosulfan product label.

  • Cotton growers using endosulfan must notify the occupiers of neighbouring properties and residences of planned endosulfan spray operations according to instructions on the label.

  • Cotton growers must also observe downwind no-spray-zones according to specifications found on the new label.

  • Endosulfan products may only be used on cotton in the periods of time designated on the label of the particular product being used. This time period will vary with the formulation type and application method used and the geographical region in which the product is used.

  • Endosulfan can only be applied to cotton according to particular methods specified on the new label.

ENDOSULFAN ITINERARY FOR NRA CHAIR AND CEO

Date

Town / State

2 November 1999

Narrabri

3 November 1999

Moree

4 November 1999

St George, Queensland

 

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