9 Nov 2009

Use of toxic insecticide to be phased out

7:36 am on 9 November 2009

The Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) has decided to phase out the use of another highly toxic insecticide in New Zealand.

Azinphos methyl, is a broad-spectrum organo-phosphate insecticide used to control pests on crops such as strawberries, summerfruit and potatoes.

ERMA has been assessing its use as part of a wider review of chemicals, and has decided to phase it out over five years

The authority has also tightened controls over that time to reduce the risks to people and the environment.

They include banning domestic use or aerial spraying and limiting the number of times a year it can be used.

The insecticide has been withdrawn in the European Union and there are moves to phase it out in Canada and the United States. Australia is also reviewing its use.

ERMA says the five year phase-out recognises the need for time to develop and test alternative products.

Earlier this year the authority banned the use of the toxic insecticide endosulfan.