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Implications of the restriction on the use of fenthion on Australia’s horticultural industry

Agriculture Food industry and trade Invasive species Chemical control Australia

This report examined the implications of restricting the use of fenthion, which is a chemical used for insect pest control, particularly for fruit fly.


On 12 December 2013, the Senate referred the following matter to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 25 June 2014:

The implications of the restriction on the use of Fenthion on Australia's horticultural industry, including:

(a) the roles and responsibilities of relevant departments and agencies of Commonwealth, state and territory governments in relation to the regulation of pesticides and veterinary chemicals;

(b) the short- and long-term impact of the decision on stakeholders;

(c) the effectiveness and sustainability of chemicals other than Fenthion to manage fruit fly;

(d) transition arrangements following the restriction on the use of Fenthion, including Area Wide Management; and

(e) any related matters.

This is the resulting report.


Chapter 2 outlines the roles and responsibilities of those departments and agencies (both Commonwealth and state) that play a part in the regulation of pesticides and veterinary chemicals in Australia.

Chapter 3 describes the current uses for fenthion and outlines the review process undertaken by the APVMA. Chapter 3 also outlines the evidence provided to the committee by stakeholders on the potential impacts of restricting (or banning) the use of fenthion, both on individual businesses and the horticultural industry as a whole.

Chapter 4 considers some of the possible alternatives to fenthion, and outlines stakeholders' views regarding their effectiveness and sustainability. The chapter also outlines possible transition arrangements to be put in place following the restriction (or complete ban) on the use of fenthion.

In addition to stakeholder's suggestions for possible transition arrangements, Chapter 4 also outlines stakeholders' views regarding the use of Area Wide Management (AWM) techniques, Sterile Insect Technology (SIT) and the implementation of the National Fruit Fly Strategy (NFFS).

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