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Environmental impacts come first in EPA insecticide decision

Environmental impacts come first in EPA insecticide decision

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has declined an application to import an insecticide to control pests on onion and potato crops.

The insecticide Grizly Max contains the active ingredients imidacloprid, novaluron and bifenthrin. These active ingredients are already approved for use in New Zealand, but not in a single formulation. The proposed application rate for the neonicotinoid imidacloprid was much higher than other insecticides already available in New Zealand.

At a 19 July hearing, the applicant, Agronica New Zealand Ltd, noted that Grizly Max had proved to be effective against target pests.

Ray McMillan, Acting General Manager of the EPA’s Hazardous Substances and New Organisms team, said: “An EPA assessment determined that there was insufficient data available on the impact that Grizly Max would have on earthworms and other soil organisms. It also found that spray drift could pose risks to the aquatic environment.”

In the three submissions received, concerns were also raised about the risks to non-target plants, honey bees and bumble bees.

“As a result The Decision-Making Committee decided that the benefits that Grizly Max would have provided to New Zealand growers would have been minimal, and did not outweigh the levels of identified risk.”

View decision details and information

What we do: The EPA decides on applications for the release of hazardous substances under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act. We assess the benefits, risks and costs of hazardous substances in safeguarding people and managing the environment.

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