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Registration of insecticide monocrotophos cancelled

NRA 99/18 17 December 1999

From 9 December 1999, the registration of the extremely potent agricultural insecticide monocrotophos has been cancelled. This decision follows a review of the insecticide under the National Registration Authority's (NRA) Existing Chemical Review Program (ECRP).

"Cancellation of registration follows extensive industry and public consultation which failed to satisfy the NRA that continued use of monocrotophos products, in accordance with the recommendations for its use, would not harm people or the environment," the NRA's Chemical Review Manager, Dr Ron Eichner said.

"Importantly, there was no commitment by the various stakeholders to generate the required data to answer the concerns about monocrotophos's environmental, occupational health impacts and residues issues which were raised in the draft report which was made available in June 1999."

"The NRA's decision cancels the registrations and all relevant approvals and also halts further imports."

The review identified several areas of concern about the chemical which related to environmental, worker exposure issues and residues concerns.

"It was found that monocrotophos could pose a risk to users, trade and aquatic species. Another concern was its particular threat to birds," Dr Eichner said.

Use of monocrotophos will be phased out over a year to allow current stocks of monocrotophos to be used up. This was seen as acceptable given the possible risks associated with product recall, storage and disposal. It also allows users time to change over to other pesticides.

The phase-out period specifies that:

  • wholesale supply cease by 30 June 2000;

  • retail sale cease by 31 December 2000; and

  • legal limits of the pesticide in animal and food commodities (MRLs) are withdrawn from 30 June 2002.

"This means that on-farm use will end in the 2001-2002 season," Dr Eichner said.

"During this review, farmers were consulted widely and highlighted the value of extensive consultation with producer organisations, industry and the wider community throughout the NRA's ECRP process."

The outcome of this review highlights the need for the public, industry and user groups to have an active involvement in the review of older existing chemicals.

"Their involvement in the NRA's ECRP is invaluable as they ensure all relevant information on how chemicals are used in Australia is made available."

THE NRA'S CHEMICAL REVIEW PROGRAM

The NRA's Existing Chemical Review Program commenced in 1994. The program is an open and transparent review process, which involves full public participation in nominating chemicals for priority assessment.

Australia's reviews are compatible with OECD country standards, and the NRA's review program is at world's best practice with a number of NRA reviews having been used overseas.

In the review and registration of chemical products, the NRA uses very conservative health standards to protect public health and occupational health and safety.

The NRA's review program is dynamic and two-way. The NRA actively seeks information and its legislation also requires registrants to advise the NRA of any adverse experiences as part of the review process.

Reviews are based upon a rigorous independent scientific assessment of relevant studies/facts. These reviews are fully transparent and include extensive consultation with all interested parties.

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