The Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) has approved an application from the strawberry industry to import a new soil fumigant.
Strawberry growers had sought permission to use the product, called Ripper, as an alternative to methyl bromide, which is toxic to the human nervous system and depletes the ozone layer.
ERMA has approved its use but with strict controls: minimum buffer zones are required, and those handling the substance must be specially trained and wear personal protective equipment.
While the product is not ozone-depleting, it is still highly toxic.
It is registered for use as a soil fumigant in the United States and Japan.