Sources: Kelly Burke – Sydney Morning Herald, 8 January 2009
ERMA news, 15 December 2008
The NZ Environmental Risk Management Authority has banned the use, importation and manufacture of the insecticide – endosulfan, from January 16, 2009
NEW Zealand fruit and vegetable growers have less than a week to find alternatives pest control products.
Farmers and stockists have 12 months to safely dispose of endosulphan stocks by re-exporting the chemical or surrendering it to an approved toxic waste disposal scheme.
The New Zealand ban was prompted in part by a number of recent biosafety scares, including unacceptably high endosulphan residues in local produce and Australian imports last year.
Illegal endosulphan residues have twice been found in New Zealand beef destined for South Korea, resulting in enormous costs for exporters. Because of the proven dangers of endosulfan exposure, ERMA wanted to stop the use of endosulfan as quickly as possible.�
Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Peter Silcock said there was no opposition to a phasing out period, but the tight timeframe was “extraordinary”.
Endosulphan will continue to be used by Australian horticultural industries though more than 55 countries have outlawed its use on food crops.
Australia in the minority of major economies still using the pesticide, along with the United States, Brazil and India.
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Tony Burke, said he would seek a briefing from the APVMA on the use of the endosulphan in Australian horticultural crops.
This May, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, to which Australia is a signatory, meets in Geneva to consider a global ban on endosulphan.