Amendments to Labels of Bromoxynil Products

17 April 2009

Background

Residues

Bromoxynil is the active constituent in a number of herbicide products commonly used to control a wide range of weeds in food crops, pastures and fodder.

Recently, new information relating to bromoxynil residues in treated food crops, pastures and fodder crops became available to the APVMA. According to this information, the residues in these crops decline at a much slower rate and these residues are more readily transferred to animals consuming treated food crops, pastures and fodder crops than previously understood.

In light of this new information, the withholding periods (14 days for grazing and for cutting for stockfood) specified on the current product labels are no longer adequate. These withholding periods need to be increased to eight weeks.

Spray drift

In July 2008 the APVMA foreshadowed that it would assess and update labels for currently registered products to mitigate risks arising from spray drift (APVMA Operating Principles in Relation to Spray Drift Risk (PDF, 560kb)). Section 9.2 of this document outlines the procedures the APVMA will be following in having labels amended.

Spray drift risk assessment carried out by the APVMA showed that products containing bromoxynil also require specific label instructions to mitigate spray drift risk.

Label amendments

In light of the new information, prompt action is necessary to avoid prejudice to Australian trade with other countries, and to minimise any risks to the environment. Labels of all products containing bromoxynil need to be amended to include appropriate withholding periods and instruction for spray drift control. The process will be more efficient if registrants address both residue risks and spray drift risks at the same time.

Accordingly, the APVMA will soon write formally to the registrants of products containing bromoxynil requiring them to amend the product labels to include the revised withholding periods and new instructions to mitigate spray drift risk.

Communication with stakeholders

In order to safeguard international trade, the APVMA is working closely with the Australian Fodder Industry Association and the Grains Research and Development Corporation to develop management strategies to ensure that Maximum Residue Limits in fodders and animal commodities are not exceeded, until such time as these label amendments can be completed.

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