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APVMA Visits Herbicide Damaged Cotton Crops In Narrabri

27 January 2009

Ref: 2009/02

‘The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is today meeting with cotton growers, industry and government representatives in Narrabri to discuss ongoing incidents of damage to cotton crops from off-target herbicide drift,’ Dr Simon Cubit (Manager, Public Affairs), said today.

Chief Executive Officer, Dr Eva Bennet-Jenkins, together with Principal Scientist, Dr David Loschke, Dr Les Davies (Manager, Chemical Review) and Advisory Board Chairman Mr Mark Allison will inspect damaged crops first-hand before meeting with Cotton Australia, the Cotton Research & Development Corporation, NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, and Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries to discuss the issue.

‘The APVMA is aware that damage to crops - including cotton, grapes, nurseries and riparian vegetation - has been sustained in various regions across Australia from spray drift.’

‘We have already taken a range of regulatory actions and have also been working with industry and government bodies to improve compliance with label instructions.’

‘We hope that today’s meeting will provide an opportunity to identify further measures that might be undertaken to improve compliance with label instructions and the regulation of spray drift,’ Dr Cubit said.

In 2005, label requirements for all 2,4-D products were significantly strengthened with restrictions on how the products could be applied. The APVMA also stopped the use of the high-volatile ester 2,4-D products during the warmer months of the year.

The APVMA has undertaken a range of measures to strengthen and refine the regulation of spray drift. These include measures to update application requirements to control spray drift risk for existing chemical products. These include phenoxy herbicides which can cause similar off-target damage to 2,4-D, to be followed by other groups of herbicides, as well as insecticides and fungicides.

Further information, including the APVMA operating principles in relation to spray drift risk is available at:


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