The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority has restricted the use of the commonly used herbicide diuron until March next year while it considers new information contained in public submissions.
The APVMA has been reviewing diuron use since 2002 and has applied an interim suspension to the chemical with limited use until March 2012 to provide more time for it to consider new information submitted by industry and agribusinesses during the review period.
While the interim suspension order is in place, Agforce president Brent Finlay said graziers can continue to control prickly acacia and mimosa bush in western bore drains, and grain growers can still apply diuron to grain crops.
A few years ago, diuron was blamed for mangrove and seagrass dieback along the Queensland coast. Research later uncovered the cause of the dieback was due to flooding and burial of the aerial mangrove roots by sediment.
“AgForce is disappointed to see the environment movement continuing to make these claims despite science since proving these claims to be false.
“The diuron review has scientifically demonstrated that it is not a risk to coastal waters including reef waters.
“With new technology and expertise, farmers use spot spraying and target spraying techniques rather than broad spraying. This lowers the actual product rate per hectare considerably.”
“There is immense pressure on government and community by World Wildlife Fund and National Toxics Network to ban 80 pesticides in Australia, including diuron. This is why it is so important to have an independent and scientific regulatory body such as APVMA to manage the use of pesticides and sort through the facts versus false claims.”
As with any herbicide there are risks, and to the APVMA’s credit these new guidelines aim to minimise these and AgForce agrees it is important for broadacre producers to understand and work within the new guidelines for use.
“We encourage landholders to go to the APVMA’s website and review the new guidelines for use and for any other information related to diuron,” Mr Finlay said.
Visit www.apvma.gov.au to find out more.