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The NRA Introduces New Conditions for the Use of Endosulfan

NRA 02/5 24 September 2002

New conditions are to apply to certain uses of the insecticide, endosulfan, from today, according to NRA principal scientist, Dr David Loschke. This decision follows an in-depth review of the agricultural chemical by the National Registration Authority for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (NRA) and is part of a progressive strengthening of controls on the chemical.

'We're stopping the use of endosulfan on Brussel sprouts and certain leafy vegetables. In addition our new instructions for use say that certain forages and fodders treated with endosulfan are not to be fed to livestock.' Dr Loschke said.

'The NRA has just finished analysing new residue information required as part of the review.'

'The data showed that use of endosulfan on Brussels sprouts, pak choi, bok choi, choi sum, Chinese cabbage, Savoy cabbage, head lettuce, Japanese greens, leafy lettuce varieties such as rocket lettuce, endives, spinach, Swiss chard and a variety of other salad greens may result in an occasional vegetable that has endosulfan traces exceeding the permitted levels.' Dr Loschke said.

Apart from these vegetables, the new studies have cleared the use of endosulfan on other fruits and vegetables in the Australian diet such as apples, broccoli, cauliflower, head cabbage, capsicum, celery, tomatoes, eggplant and sweet corn.

'This approach is very conservative and will ensure that consumers can continue to have confidence in the quality of the produce they eat.' Dr Loschke said.

'From the growers' perspective, there are alternative products available for most of the current uses of endosulfan.'

'The studies also showed that if livestock were fed fodders that had been treated with endosulfan, the meat from these animals could potentially exceed Australian and international residue limits.' Dr Loschke said.

'The current drought conditions in much of Australia have increased the feeding of a broader range of forages and fodders to livestock.'

'While the meat residue limits are very conservative the NRA believes that it is important to act now to ensure that Australian producers comply with them.' Dr Loschke said.

'The NRA will use its recall powers as a way of ensuring that the new instructions are conveyed to all users. We will also be talking with suppliers and users of chemicals including peak rural industry bodies to make sure they understand the new requirements.' Dr Loschke said.

The NRA intends to take follow-up action to be certain that these measures are complied with.

The NRA advises livestock producers who have already fed their animals with forages and fodders treated with endosulfan, that to minimise the potential for residue problems, they should keep those animals on untreated feed for 90 days before slaughter.

A full list of the changes to endosulfan use instructions will be available on the NRA's website and by mail or fax upon request. In addition, the NRA will distribute this information to the agricultural community through key industry organisations and through endosulfan product registrants and resellers.

A complete list of all endosulfan uses affected by the NRA decision can be found at www.nra.gov.au

The NRA is a Commonwealth statutory authority responsible for the regulation of agricultural and veterinary chemical products into the Australian marketplace.

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