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NRA Cancels Registration of Home Garden Spray, Water-based Triforine

5 March 2003

Water-based formulations of the widely used home garden spray, triforine will no longer be available for sale following the cancellation of the products' registration by the National Registration Authority for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (the NRA).

The NRA action comes in response to requests made by the product manufacturers and follows an urgent review of these products that commenced late last year. Triforine products are commonly used by the home gardener to treat roses for 'black spot' and other fungus problems.

'As it happens, the review's scientific investigations had found that water-based triforine products were likely to degrade, reducing their potency with the result that their effectiveness could not be guaranteed,' NRA principal scientist Dr David Loschke said.

'The scientific evidence available to us has confirmed that the chemical, triforine, breaks down into other compounds in the presence of water. These compounds, while safe, are not effective fungicides'.

'In view of the review findings, the manufacturers' requests to cancel the registration of all water-based triforine garden sprays was expected', Dr Loschke said.

'The cancellation takes effect immediately and all products on retail shelves are also being recalled', Dr Loschke said.

'The cancellation of the registration of these products is in the interests of the Australian consumer because, put simply, these water-based triforine products aren't up to the job that the consumer expects of them,' Dr Loschke said.

The review of these products was undertaken in response to the results of product testing undertaken by the Australian Consumers Association. The findings, published the December 2002 edition of Choice Magazine, pointed to possible problems with the chemical during storage.

'The NRA began the scientific review of the chemical as soon as these findings came to light,' Dr Loschke said. 'We are grateful to the Australian Consumers Association for its efforts in highlighting this problem'.

Manufacturers are expected to begin recalling their water-based triforine products immediately. Consumers are advised to contact the manufacturers directly regarding the recall details.

This action concerns water-based triforine products only. There are a number of other alcohol-based triforine products in the marketplace that are not affected by the review findings. Consumers are advised to check packaging. The red 'flammable' symbol on the container is an indication that the product is alcohol based.

See the report (PDF, 162kb).