NovaChem > Industry News > 2020 > First step towards reassessing insecticide

First step towards reassessing insecticide

Published on 09/12/2020

Chlorpyrifos is currently approved in New Zealand for commercial use in agriculture and horticulture, and as a timber treatment chemical.

Sixteen products containing this active ingredient are currently listed on the ACVM register, covering a wide range of crops, including avocados, kiwifruit, wine grapes, pip and stone fruit, onions, squash and potatoes. Chlorpyrifos-based insecticides are also approved for use in cereals, lucerne, forage brassica and pasture. Labelled pests range from grass grub, porina, Argentine stem weevil and cutworm to aphids, white butterfly, leafroller, diamondback moth and mealy bug.

“Our decision-makers have now determined that grounds exist for a reassessment, based on significant new information about the effects of this substance,” says Dr Clark Ehlers, acting general manager of hazardous substances and new organisms at EPA. Several countries have moved to restrict or prohibit chlorpyrifos in recent years. The European Commission has not renewed its approval for the substance, Australia has cancelled domestic use, and Canada has proposed cancelling most existing uses.

NZ studies have detected the presence of chlorpyrifos in streams, air and soil. Chlorpyrifos is on the EPA’s priority chemicals list, which comprises approximately 40 substances the authority believes are most in need of review in NZ. Also on this list are 2,4-DB, amitrole, carbaryl, folpet, lambda-cyhalothrin, maldison, permethrin, pirimiphos-methyl and trifluralin.

The next step with the reassessment of chlorpyrifos is a call for information, to seek more detail on how and where products containing these substances are being used. This will form the basis of a reassessment application, which will be formally prepared and opened for public submissions next year.

The application for grounds to reassess chlorpyrifos, chlorpyrifos-methyl, and substances containing them was initiated by the EPA. Establishing grounds is a specific legal requirement that must be met under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act before an application can be made for a substance to be reassessed.

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