2016 March: Insecticide ban over human safety fears. Pesticide: Maldison

Insecticide ban over human safety fears

The Weekly Times

AN agricultural insecticide has been suspended in Australia because of health concerns.

Maldison 500 is an insecticide that — according to manufacturer NuFarm — can be used in cropping horticulture, pasture and vegetable production.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority suspended Maldison 500 from March 15 until March 1 next year.

The suspension means that Maldison 500 can not be manufactured or imported.

But possession, custody, supply and use of the product — according to directions on the label — is permitted.

“It appears to the APVMA that the product … may be an undue hazard to the safety of people exposed to it during its handling and have an effect that is harmful to human beings,” the regulator reported in Commonwealth Gazette.


APVMA chief executive Kareena Arthy said the suspension was the recommendation of an ongoing review of the insecticide.

“The APVMA review of maldison commenced in 2003 due to potential human health concerns in relation to the formation of toxic impurities during manufacture and storage,” she said.

“The scope of the Maldison review includes chemistry, toxicology and occupational health and safety,” Ms Arthy said the review was expected to be completed in January 2018.

Asked about the health concerns APVMA had with Maldison 500, she said it was “an organophosporous insecticide, and like all members of this chemical class, it interferes with the nervous system”.

A NuFarm spokesman said it “was working with the regulatory authority and our customers to ensure this product is handled in accordance with the label directions as is permitted under the notice.”