18 Dec 2011

Fumigant subsitute for methyl bromide

11:38 pm on 18 December 2011

A company that has developed an alternative to methyl bromide says it could reduce the use of the toxic fumigant on fresh produce by up to 20% over the next year.

Methyl bromide, which is mostly used on logs for export, kills all pests but is highly toxic to humans.

The Australian gas and engineering company B-O-C says its product Vapormate is non-ozone-depleting, environmentally friendly and relatively harmless to humans.

A spokesperson, Chris Dolman, says the active agent is ethyl formate, which naturally occurs in food.

It is now used in a handful of countries, and has been used on New Zealand strawberry exports this season for the first time.