Generation of dimethoate and fenthion residue samples to maintain market access
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has the legislative authority to review registered chemicals at any time in addition to its obligation to appraise agrochemical products before they are registered. Thus, the APVMA has an ongoing process, the Chemical Review Program, within which they review registered chemicals when new research, or evidence, raises concerns about the safety of a particular chemical or product. Furthermore, they have the authority, and are obliged, to deregister a product, or certain uses on its label, should review findings deem it necessary. The insecticides, dimethoate and fenthion, are two horticulturally significant chemicals that are currently under review. A review of dimethoate was initiated following concerns raised by a range of individuals and organisations, about the toxicity of the compound and residues that remained in food treated with the insecticide. Fenthion was nominated for review following a more diverse range of general concerns including its effects on public health, occupational health and safety, the environment, and residues in food. Dimethoate and fenthion are arguably the two most important pesticides used for controlling the most significant horticultural insect-pest in Australia, fruit-fly; because the use of these chemicals is legislated and they must be applied to produce before it can be sold or transported to interstate and overseas markets. Therefore, any adjustments made to dimethoate and fenthion registrations following the reviews, is likely to have significant ramifications for interstate and international trade of horticultural commodities and the livelihoods of many industries are potentially at stake.