Australia: Fenthion ban to come into effect

October 05 , 2015

Australian fruit and vegetable growers will this month be banned from using what many say is the only remaining effective fruit fly pesticide, according to publication Weeklytimesnow.com.auuvas_65108740 _ small

The organophosphorus (OP) insecticide, Fenthion, was previously registered for a range of crops in Australia, including apples, avocados, papayas, grapes, mangoes, stonefruit, tomatoes and peppers.

The chemical will be phased out over October, and Fruit Fly Action Group spokesman Brett Delsimone reportedly said a lack of alternative chemicals or control methods was causing uncertainty in the ­industry and affecting business confidence.

"We have already seen ­orchards removed on the east and west coast due to fruit fly," Delsimone was quoted as saying by Weeklytimesnow.com.au.

He added Australia’s regulatory system for agricultural chemicals was a "complete failure".

"I’ve just been in the US where they’ve been using chemicals for 10 or 15 years that aren’t even on our radar in Australia," he was quoted as saying.

"I don’t see why our regulators aren’t conducting reviews to get Australia up to speed. We’re just globally uncompetitive when it comes to molecular technology."

However, Summerfruit Australia chief execitive John Moore reportedly said growers had adopted new fruit fly control practices such as baiting and trapping, and he was confident the industry would cope without fenthion.

Fruit fly is an increasing problem in the southeastern state of Victoria, according to the story.

The pest was declared endemic by the State Government in 2013, and there are now more than 100 fruit fly outbreaks in the Sunraysia pest-free area.

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www.freshfruitportal.com

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