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Government Welcomes EPA Decision

The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.

“The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms Simmonds says.

Hi-Cane enables plants to bloom in adverse conditions to save harvests which would otherwise be lost. There are currently no viable alternatives to Hi-Cane. The EPA decision includes new rules for buffer zones, application methods and qualifications to ensure Hi-Cane is used safely.

"The EPA has found the product is non-carcinogenic and that health and environmental impacts can be mitigated by rules to protect workers and limit spray drift.

“The EPA’s decision finds an appropriate balance between environmental and economic concerns.”

Agriculture and Trade Minister Todd McClay says this is a good decision for a major export sector.

“The kiwifruit industry is a significant contributor to the economy, creating jobs and delivering $2.6 billion in export revenue last year,” Mr McClay says.

“The EPA’s decision today includes rule changes that impose further requirements to the way Hi-Cane is used, how much can be sprayed, and the need for buffer zones when spraying crops.

I will be discussing these rule changes further with representatives from the industry to better understand the operational effect and impact of these changes on growers.”

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“It is unfortunate the EPA took four years to make its decision. I have made it clear to the EPA that they must prioritise decision making, compliance, monitoring and enforcement functions. Reassessments should be completed in a timely manner to provide certainty to industry,” Ms Simmonds says.

“It is critical that regulation is science-based with robust, fair and timely processes to support economic growth within environmental limits.”

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