4 Feb 2011

Submissions sought on proposed agrichemical bans

1:35 pm on 4 February 2011

The Environmental Risk management Authority is calling for submissions on proposals to phase out the use of two insecticides and a fungicide.

The reassessment is part of a wider review of agri-chemicals used in New Zealand.

The insecticides acephate and methamidophos are organo-phosphates used on crops such as avocados, citrus, boysenberries, potatoes, onions, sweetcorn, tomatoes and brassicas.

They are also used to treat imported seeds, nursery stock and cut flowers.

Reviews in Europe, the United States, Canada and other countries have resulted in the pesticides being restricted, voluntarily removed from sale or prohibited.

ERMA is recommending they be phased out in New Zealand as well.

The agency also proposes banning quintozene, a fungicide which is used commercially on seedlings, bulbs and recreational turf in New Zealand.

Quintozene products contain dioxin, a pollutant that carries human health and environmental risks.

Its use has also been restricted in the United States and Canada.

The importer of the one quintozene product registered in New Zealand has voluntarily stopped selling or supplying it while ERMA holds the review.