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Disposal Deadline Looming For Banned Paraquat Products

Users of the heavily restricted herbicide paraquat are being reminded that they must dispose of any remaining stocks of four specific products by 12 December 2020.

The deadline affects Uniquat 250, Parable 250, Gramoxone Inteon, and Preeglone Inteon, which can no longer be imported, manufactured, sold, or used in New Zealand.

These products must be disposed of in line with the requirements of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Disposal Notice.

Paraquat is a broad spectrum contact herbicide that has previously been used in the horticultural and agricultural sectors for clover seed, lucerne, and kūmara production.

In late 2019, in addition to banning the four products, an EPA Decision-making Committee placed greater controls on paraquat. This restricts its future use to agricultural or biosecurity purposes only.

Only two mixtures containing paraquat remain approved under the new rules. Maximum application rates were reduced, and buffer zones were revised. From 12 December 2020, interim labelling must be in place, as well as responsible handling information. Labels must be updated on all containers by December 2021.

"Paraquat was the first active ingredient on our priority chemicals list, announced in October 2018, to be reassessed," says the EPA’s acting general manager of Hazardous Substances and New Organisms, Siobhan Quayle.

The priority chemical list identifies the 39 substances we believe are most in need of review, drawn from a long-list of 700 chemicals we have screened.

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"We now have a dedicated team focused on progressing these reviews, with several reassessments currently underway including for the log fumigant methyl bromide and the horticultural spray ingredient hydrogen cyanamide," says Siobhan Quayle.

Read about the rules for paraquat use in New Zealand

Read the EPA’s priority chemicals list

Read the EPA Disposal Notice

Read the direction to dispose published in the New Zealand Gazette

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