Endosulfan Review History and Regulatory Outcomes

Endosulfan Cancellations

On 11 October 2010 the APVMA cancelled all active constituent approvals for endosulfan. As a consequence, on 12 October 2010 the APVMA cancelled all endosulfan product registrations.

See the media release announcing the cancellation of endosulfan.

Information on this page relates to the APVMA’s review of endosulfan which was completed in June 2005. This information is now superceded by the cancellation, except as regards information for persons using stocks during the 2 year phase-out.

Nomination for review

The endosulfan review has been a complex and taken a number of years to complete. In November 1995 the APVMA began a review of endosulfan because of concerns over possible risks to the public from short and long-term exposure to endosulfan residues (particularly in livestock, arising from spray drift from application to cotton and some other broad acre crops), occupational health and safety, trade and the environment.

Interim reports

In 1998 the APVMA released the Endosulfan Interim Report* which recommended a number of changes to the use of endosulfan. These changes were proposed to reduce risks to the environment, worker safety and reduce residues in commodities. Some of the key changes included:

  • declaring endosulfan products to be Restricted Chemical Products (RCPs)
  • requiring users of endosulfan to undertake specified training
  • restricting the number of applications for endosulfan per season.

As the review progressed the APVMA made a series of changes to the registrations and label approvals of endosulfan products during the period 1998 to 2001.

In 2002 the APVMA introduced further restrictions to endosulfan products after the analysis of new residue information. The data showed that the use of endosulfan on Brussels sprouts, pak choi, bok choi, choi sum, Chinese cabbage, Savoy cabbage, head lettuce, Japanese greens, leafy lettuce varieties such as rocket lettuce, endives, spinach, Swiss chard and a variety of other salad greens resulted in an occasional detection of residues exceeding the permitted levels. The APVMA suspended product registrations and issued new directions for the supply and use of the suspended products. These new directions included changes to the restricted crop uses, withholding periods and livestock feeding restraints.

Preliminary review

In May 2004 the APVMA released the Preliminary Review Findings Report*. In the report the APVMA imposed mandatory buffer zones for spraying and required neighbourhood notification before application. This followed reports of endosulfan residues being found in beef as a result of spray drift. Ultimately, the APVMA cancelled the registration of ultra-low-volume endosulfan products to help reduce long-distance drift of very fine spray mists.

Final review

In June 2005 the APVMA released the Endosulfan Review Final Report*. In final review, the suspension on product registrations and labels was revoked and the APVMA recommended:

  • not using endosulfan on leafy vegetables, berry fruits (including grapes), bananas, sorghum and maize, peanuts, legume vegetables, bulb vegetables, sweet corn or cole vegetables (except cabbage (head) broccoli and cauliflower)
  • not using endosulfan post-emergence on cereals, pulses and oil seeds (except cotton)
  • not using endosulfan on any pasture, forage or fodder
  • limiting the number of applications of endosulfan in each growing season
  • changing withholding periods for certain crops; growers must observe the withholding period as directed on the new labels
  • keeping records of endosulfan use for up to two years
  • before using endosulfan on cotton, users must:
    • notify neighbours of spraying (as directed on the new labels)
    • observe downwind no-spray zones (as directed on the new labels)
    • only apply to crops using techniques specified on the new labels
    • only use it in the periods of time specified on the new labels
  • cattle producers who use endosulfan or who are neighbours of endosulfan users must pay attention to endosulfan questions in the National Vendor Declaration (NVD) and the European Union Vendor Declaration (EUVD), especially if down wind no-spray zones have been waived. These declarations aim to identify cattle that may have been exposed to endosulfan.

* Contact the APVMA for copies of this document.

Last updated on 12 October, 2010

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