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NRA Cancels Ultra Low Volume (ULV) Endosulfan

NRA 01/1 29 March 2001

Registration of ultra low volume (ULV) endosulfan products by the National Registration Authority for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (NRA) has been cancelled following a meeting of the NRA Board on 23 March. The cancellation, to apply from 31 March 2001, follows suspension of the products imposed in June 2000.

Dr John Keniry, the Board chairman, said that the NRA Board had concluded that the risks to Australia’s international beef trade by the on-going use of ULV endosulfan were simply too great to have its use continue.

‘It has been demonstrated that spray drift from ULV endosulfan use can result in unacceptable residue levels in cattle,’ Dr Keniry said.

‘Beef exports with endosulfan residues above acceptable standards would be rejected immediately by our trading partners who are particularly sensitive on this issue,’ he said.

ULV formulations of endosulfan are delivered as a very fine spray.

‘The risks to the beef trade are caused by spray drift from the very small droplets produced in ULV endosulfan applications,’ Dr Keniry said.

‘Spray drift of such small droplets is unpredictable and can travel long distances even in fine weather conditions and contaminate pasture or feed crops sufficiently to result in residue problems,’ he said.

‘I should make it clear that not all ULV chemical products cause this risk. Endosulfan is a problem because of its particular implications for the beef industry,’ he said.

There are no practical ways to reduce the risk to a low enough level to have any confidence that the beef trade would not be seriously harmed. The NRA has therefore decided not to allow any interim use of the products in order to exhaust existing stocks.

The NRA requires that manufacturers recall existing stocks and safely dispose of them.

The initial suspension of the ULV endosulfan products was made to provide the chemical industry the opportunity to produce any new data that might support continued use of the products. No new information has been made available.