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Chemical regulator kicks off new spray drift regulatory program with a widely-used herbicide

Date: 29 April 2010
Ref: 2010/07

The widely-used herbicide MCPA will be the first currently registered chemical to be assessed for spray drift risk under a new regulatory framework developed by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

‘This new framework, one of the most well-developed in the world, is designed to mitigate potential risks to human health, the environment and trade, from off-target spray drift’, APVMA spokesperson Dr Simon Cubit said today.

MCPA, a herbicide used to control broadleaf weeds in an extensive range of crops and non-cropping situations, is the first currently-registered chemical to be subject to the new regulatory regime.

‘Preliminary assessments have indicated that restrictions on use will need to be applied in order to protect off-target crops and terrestrial and aquatic organisms’.

‘Eventually all agricultural chemicals capable of being used in a spray form will be individually assessed and conditions of use tightened to prevent adverse effects’, Dr Cubit said

The APVMA has published a prioritised list of those chemicals that will be reviewed for spray drift risk over the next several years.

MCPA is a member of the phenoxy herbicide family. Members of this family are believed to have been involved in many reports of damage to non-target crops (including high value crops like grapes and cotton) reported in recent years.

Some 139 MCPA products available in Australia will be subject to the assessment that will address potential risks to the environment.

A scope document is available which provides the background to the targeted spray drift reviews, the case for reconsidering the registrations of products containing MCPA and their labels, and the scope of the review. It also contains the results of the spray drift modelling and risk analysis.

Ends

For further information, see the 'Technical Backgrounder' (PDF, 31kb) | (RTF, 139kb) or contact:

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Email: media@apvma.gov.au

Download the PDF/RTF version of this media release: Chemical regulator kicks off new spray drift regulatory program with a widely-used herbicide (PDF, 31kb) | (RTF, 158kb)

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