The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has released its proposed regulatory decision on the reconsideration of chlorpyrifos, an insecticide used for the control of pests in various agricultural, horticultural, commercial, and veterinary situations.
Public consultation on the proposed decision is open until 11 March 2024.
APVMA acting chief executive Melissa McEwen says the proposed decision to either vary and affirm or to cancel specific registrations and label approvals is based on potential risks to user safety and the environment.
“The proposal relies on currently available information and is a contemporary assessment of the hazards and risks associated with the use of chlorpyrifos in agricultural and veterinary products in Australia,” Dr McEwen says.
“The proposed decision to cancel certain uses is also comparable with action already taken by international regulators, including Canada, the US, and Europe.”
Dr McEwen acknowledged chlorpyrifos has been seen as a cheap and effective insecticide and is used widely across agricultural industries.
“While it is not the role of the APVMA to identify alternative chemicals to control pests in certain situations, if our final decision is to cancel specific uses of chlorpyrifos, we are committed to prioritising applications for off-label permits, or to vary current products or register new products, where no alternatives to chlorpyrifos are currently approved.”
Registered chemical products containing chlorpyrifos can continue to be used during the consultation period, in accordance with the approved label instructions.
The APVMA will review feedback received from the consultation before making its final regulatory decision.
The proposed regulatory decision on chlorpyrifos is the first action proposed in response to the ministerial direction received by the APVMA in July.
APVMA intends to make decisions for other chemicals included in the Direction in 2024.