APVMA shuts down dimethoate for some fruits

News Oct. 28, 2023

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has suspended, effective immediately, the registration and labels of chemical products containing dimethoate used as a post-harvest dip for fruit with inedible peel.

This follows reports received by APVMA, which indicated the maximum permitted level of pesticide residue (the maximum residue limit; MRL) for omethoate, the main degradation product of dimethoate, had been exceeded in avocados and mangos.

The information showed the MRL breach was likely due to the use of dimethoate in accordance with the approved instructions for use as a post-harvest dip.

While APVMA considers the level of residues detected are unlikely to pose a significant risk to human health, they are still in excess of acceptable levels for an appropriate margin of safety.

APVMA has published notice of the suspension in the APVMA Gazette (19.9.23), which includes instructions for use in a deemed permit valid for one year.

These instructions allow the continued use of dimethoate, but prohibit its use as a post-harvest dip on tropical and sub-tropical fruit.

A brief statement of reasons for the decision to suspend the registration of specific dimethoate products and the approval of their labels is also provided in the notice.

APVMA has also varied Permit 87164, held by Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd, to remove the use of dimethoate as a post-harvest flood spray for assorted tropical and sub-tropical fruits – inedible peel (crop group 006).

The permitted use of dimethoate on citrus fruit with inedible peel remains acceptable.

APVMA says it remains satisfied all other approved uses of dimethoate are safe.

Holders of dimethoate product registrations can apply to vary their registration to remove the post-harvest dip use pattern, which will result in the product no longer being suspended.

The decision to suspend the registration and labels of specific dimethoate products follows public consultation, which closed on August 29.

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