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Media release: Regulator proposes changes for popular agricultural and home garden pesticide

Media Release 0404, 9 June 2004

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is recommending major changes to the uses of the common agricultural and home garden pesticide, carbaryl. A draft report providing detailed findings of the review of carbaryl is now available for public comment. Carbaryl has been used to treat insect pests in agricultural crops, the home garden, around buildings and on animals in Australia for many years.

APVMA Principal Scientist, Dr David Loschke, said 'We undertook the review because of our concerns over the risks posed to human health by potential residues of the chemical in foods. The APVMA was also concerned about possible risks to householders applying the chemical in the home garden and other domestic situations.'

'Based on our assessment of all the scientific data collected as part of the review, the APVMA is not convinced that the continued use of carbaryl in certain situations is safe for people,' Dr Loschke said.

'The health of the public and workers is a key priority for us and we will not take risks with it,' he said.

The draft review report concludes that by canceling some use patterns and tightening label instructions for other uses, the potential risks associated with the use of carbaryl would be effectively managed.

The review recommends that many of the uses of carbaryl on fruit and vegetables be cancelled. The use of the chemical in its dust form including products for animals is also proposed for cancellation. However it is recommended that uses of carbaryl products on pastures, cropping and grain storage, in commercial or industrial areas as well as in domestic animal shampoos and ear drops can continue.

Carbaryl is used for the control of insect pests in a broad range of agricultural and domestic situations, including stored grain, ornamentals, lawns, fruit and vegetables and around public buildings. To a lesser extent it is also used in the control of insects on domestic animals.

Public comment is now being sought on the draft review report for carbaryl. All comments must be received by 27 August 2004 and should be sent to chemicalreview@apvma.gov.au.

Details of the draft review findings and the recommendations for future use of carbaryl are contained in the report 'The reconsideration of registrations of products containing carbaryl and their associated labels' (PDF, 441kb).

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