APVMA Suspends Certain Products Containing Fenthion for Safety Reasons

November 1, 2012

Just sent this on to Councillor Laurie Smith – more evidence that, despite Council inaction, our concerns about chemical exposure from agchem use by farms close to our homes are more than justified.

Hello Laurie
What a shame the last mass bird kill in Greenbank in June was from Chlorpyrifos, which can be obtained in small amounts in some garden products (as opposed to the large concentrations farmers have access to … so of course we can’t PROVE conclusively where it came from  – so let’s just blame the residents, shall we?)
The bird kill in Thompson Rd in late 2011, however, was caused by FENTHION ETHYL, which is only available to farmers for agricultural uses, not the general public.  You will see (below) that the APVMA has now banned this chemical for use on food crops for safety reasons.
Wonder when residents’ safety will become a consideration?
Your thoughts would be appreciated.
Liz Hall-Downs

APVMA – Suspension of Certain Products Containing Fenthion …

… The APVMA has decided that the continued use of, or other dealings with these two products containing fenthion according to the instructions on approved labels may be an undue hazard to the safety of people using anything containing fenthion residues.

In September 2012, the APVMA published the revised toxicology component of the report prepared by the Office of Chemical Safety (OCS) in the Department of Health and Ageing in connection with the APVMA’s review of fenthion: Human Health Risk Assessment of Fenthion (the OCS Report). The OCS Report confirmed the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for fenthion of 0.002 mg/kg bw/day, and also confirmed the Acute Reference Dose (ARfD) of 0.007 mg/kg bw.

The APVMA published its Fenthion Residues and Dietary Risk Assessment Report (the Residues Report) in September 2012. The Residues Report considered all of the available information relevant to its review of fenthion, including the public health standards (ADI and ARfD) set out in the OCS Report.

The APVMA has formed the view that exposures to residues in certain crops and produce that have been treated with the products listed below may be an undue hazard to people’s safety and may exceed the ARfD established by the OCS.

As such, the APVMA decided to suspend the product registrations and the associated label approvals for the two products listed below. Only those products containing fenthion that had instructions for use on food producing plants have been included in this suspension. One veterinary product and five pest control products containing fenthion are currently under review, but are not affected by this decision.


From 31 October 2012 a person may only possess, have custody of, use or otherwise deal with the products identified above in accordance with a permit issued by the APVMA and the instructions set out at the end of this Notice.

The APVMA may cancel one or more of these permits and issue replacement permits at any time during the 12 month suspension period. Before using, supplying or otherwise dealing with products containing fenthion, suppliers and users need to be satisfied that the instructions set out at the end of this Notice continue to apply, and that their activities are authorised by a permit. Current permits are available at www.apvma.gov.au/permits/search.php.

Failure to comply with the instructions set out at the end of this Notice attracts a penalty under section 55(4) of the Agvet Code. The penalty is 300 penalty units ($33,000).


For any enquiries or further information about this matter, please contact:

Contact Officer

Chemical Review

Pesticides Program

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

PO Box 6182


Phone: +61 2 6210 4749

Fax: +61 2 6210 4776

Email: chemicalreview@apvma.gov.au




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