Author Archives: Anthony

Oct/Nov 2022: Snowy River at Marlo. Pesticides: Hexazinone, Simazine, Captan

EPA Victoria – Regional Flood Water Testing Program

Oct 31-Nov 9 2022

Snowy River at Marlo

31/10/22: Hexazinone 0.03ug/L

31/10/22: Simazine 0.01ug/L

7/11/22: Captan 0.3ug/L

 

October 2022: Snowy River at Orbost. Pesticides: Hexazinone, Simazine

EPA Victoria – Regional Flood Water Testing Program

Oct 31-Nov 9 2022

Snowy River at Orbost

31/10/22: Hexazinone 0.04ug/L

31/10/22: Simazine 0.01ug/L

October 2022: Snowy River at Bete Bolong. Pesticide: Hexazinone

EPA Victoria – Regional Flood Water Testing Program

Oct 31-Nov 9 2022

Snowy River at Bete Bolong

31/10/22: Hexazinone 0.03ug/L

PFAS chemicals  also detected.

2022 November: Murray River at Swan Hill. Pesticides: Simazine, Atrazine

EPA Victoria – Regional Flood Water Testing Program

Oct 31-Nov 9 2022

Murray River at Swan Hill

3/11/22: Simazine 0.01ug/L

7/11/22: Simazine 0.01ug/L

7/11/22: Atrazine 0.02ug/L

PFAS chemicals  also detected.

October 2022: Murray River at Echuca. Pesticides: Atrazine, MGK-264, Simazine

EPA Victoria – Regional Flood Water Testing Program

Oct 31-Nov 9 2022

Murray River at Echuca

31/10/22: Atrazine 0.0122ug/L

31/10/22: MGK-264 0.0111ug/L

31/10/22: Simazine 0.0140ug/L

PFAS chemicals, Phthalates and Total Recoverable Hydrocarbons  also detected.

November 2022: Loddon River, Kerang. Pesticides: Atrazine, Simazine

EPA Victoria – Regional Flood Water Testing Program

Oct 31-Nov 9 2022

Loddon River at Kerang

1/11/22: Atrazine 0.0265ug/L

7/11/22: Atrazine 0.01ug/L

1/11/22: Simazine 0.0211ug/L

PFAS chemicals, Phthalates and Total Recoverable Hydrocarbons  also detected.

November 2022: Little Murray River at Swan Hill. Pesticides: Atrazine, Simazine

EPA Victoria – Regional Flood Water Testing Program

Oct 31-Nov 9 2022

Little Murray River at Swan Hill

3/11/22: Atrazine 0.01ug/L

7/11/22: Atrazine 0.01ug/L

3/11/22: Simazine 0.01ug/L

7/11/22: Simazine 0.01ug/L

PFAS chemicals  also detected.

Oct/Nov 2022: Campaspe River at Kyneton. Hexazinone detected

EPA Victoria – Regional Flood Water Testing Program

Oct 31-Nov 9 2022

Campaspe River at Kyneton

31/10/22: Hexazinone 0.0362ug/L

7/11/22: Hexazinone 0.02ug/L

PFAS chemicals, Phthalates and Total Recoverable Hydrocarbons also detected.

Oct 2022: Broken River Benalla. Pesticides: Atrazine, Simazine

EPA Victoria – Regional Flood Water Testing Program

Oct 31-Nov 9 2022

Broken River at Benalla

31/10/22: Atrazine 0.0155ug/L

31/10/22: Simazine 0.016ug/L

PFAS chemicals, Phthalates and Total Recoverable Hydrocarbons also detected.

November 2021: Armidale (NSW) Senior staff member of APVMA urinates on Staff

Executive at Australia’s pesticides authority allegedly urinated on staff at function, Senate hears

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/nov/08/executive-at-australias-pesticides-authority-allegedly-urinated-on-staff-at-function-senate-hears

Agriculture minister Murray Watt says he is seeking an ‘urgent briefing’ over the alleged 2021 incident

A senior staff member at the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is alleged to have urinated on staff members at a function in Armidale in late 2021, Senate estimates has heard.

He has now resigned, according to the APVMA’s chief executive officer, Lisa Croft, who was questioned about the incident at Tuesday’s hearing.

Croft confirmed that she was “aware of an incident” but denied it had happened at the APVMA’s Christmas party, as Green’s senator Peter Whish-Wilson had suggested in his question.

She said it had occurred “in a private capacity not at a work function”.

Croft admitted other staff had raised it with her, but it had not been the subject of a formal complaint.

“I understand that the people directly involved wanted me to be aware of the matter. There was no official complaint made,” Croft said.

She confirmed there had been discussions with HR and that the staff member – a member of the executive team – resigned soon after the event.

Whish-Wilson asked Croft whether there had been complaints of sexual harassment or bullying. Croft said she was not aware of any formal complaints or of three female staff making sexual harassment complaints.

The agriculture minister, Murray Watt, said he would be “seeking an urgent briefing”.

“These are obviously very concerning questions. It is certainly the first time I have heard about it,” he said.

The APVMA is the federal government agency responsible for approving registration of pesticides and other agricultural and veterinary chemicals.

 

October 20 2022: Secret Files linked with Paraquat and Parkinsons Disease

Secret files suggest chemical giant feared weedkiller’s link to Parkinson’s disease

Documents seen by Guardian detail effort to refute scientific research into paraquat and derail nomination of key EPA adviser

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/oct/20/syngenta-weedkiller-pesticide-parkinsons-disease-paraquat-documents

For decades, Swiss chemical giant Syngenta has manufactured and marketed a widely used weed-killing chemical called paraquat, and for much of that time the company has been dealing with external concerns that long-term exposure to the chemical may be a cause of the incurable brain ailment known as Parkinson’s disease.

Syngenta has repeatedly told customers and regulators that scientific research does not prove a connection between its weedkiller and the disease, insisting that the chemical does not readily cross the blood-brain barrier, and does not affect brain cells in ways that cause Parkinson’s.

But a cache of internal corporate documents dating back to the 1950s reviewed by the Guardian suggests that the public narrative put forward by Syngenta and the corporate entities that preceded it has at times contradicted the company’s own research and knowledge.

And though the documents reviewed do not show that Syngenta’s scientists and executives accepted and believed that paraquat can cause Parkinson’s, they do show a corporate focus on strategies to protect product sales, refute external scientific research and influence regulators.

In one defensive tactic, the documents indicate that the company worked behind the scenes to try to keep a highly regarded scientist from sitting on an advisory panel for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The agency is the chief US regulator for paraquat and other pesticides. Company officials wanted to make sure the efforts could not be traced back to Syngenta, the documents show.

And the documents show that insiders feared they could face legal liability for long-term, chronic effects of paraquat as long ago as 1975. One company scientist called the situation “a quite terrible problem” for which “some plan could be made … ”

That prediction of legal consequences has come to pass. Thousands of people who allege they developed Parkinson’s because of long-term chronic effects of paraquat exposure are now suing Syngenta. Along with Syngenta, they are also suing Chevron USA, the successor to a company that distributed paraquat in the US until 1986. Both companies deny any liability and maintain that scientific evidence does not support a causal link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease.

“Recent thorough reviews performed by the most advanced and science-based regulatory authorities, including the United States and Australia, continue to support the view that paraquat is safe,” Syngenta said in a statement to the Guardian.

During the years Chevron USA’s predecessor sold paraquat, “it regularly reviewed and considered scientific studies regarding the safety of its products, including paraquat,” Chevron USA said in a statement to the Guardian, adding that none of the studies reviewed “showed a causal link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease”.

Chevron USA said the company “does not believe that [its former subsidiary that sold paraquat] had any role in causing the plaintiffs’ illnesses and will vigorously defend against the allegations in the lawsuits”.

As part of a court-ordered disclosure in the litigation, the companies provided plaintiffs’ lawyers with decades of internal records, including hand-written and typed memos, internal presentations, and emails to and from scientists, lawyers and company officials around the world. And though the files have not yet been made public through the court system, the Guardian has reviewed hundreds of pages of these documents in a reporting collaboration with the New Lede.

Among the revelations from the documents: scientists with Syngenta predecessor Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) and Chevron Chemical were aware in the 1960s and 70s of mounting evidence showing paraquat could accumulate in the human brain.

When Syngenta’s own internal research showed adverse effects of paraquat on brain tissue, the company withheld that information from regulators while downplaying the validity of similar findings being reported by independent scientists.

In addition, the records show company scientists were aware of evidence that exposure to paraquat could impair the central nervous system (CNS), triggering tremors and other symptoms in experimental animals similar to those suffered by people with Parkinson’s. A 1975 Chevron communication speaks of concerns about allegations of “permanent CNS effects from paraquat”.

And as independent researchers continued to find more and more evidence that paraquat may cause Parkinson’s, the documents describe what Syngenta called an “influencing” strategy “that proactively diffuses [sic] the potential threats that we face” and seeks to “maintain and safeguard paraquat registrations”, referring to their regulatory approvals. The strategy “must consider how best to influence academia, and regulatory and NGO environments”.

A Syngenta “regulatory strategy” document from 2003 refers to paraquat as a “‘blockbuster’ product” that must be “vigorously” defended to protect more than $400m in projected annual global sales. Ensuring what Syngenta called its “freedom to sell” paraquat was a top priority, the internal records show.

Syngenta also created a website the company used to publicly dismiss concerns about links between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease and provide positive product messaging. On that website, the company asserted that paraquat did not readily cross the blood-brain barrier, even when the company had evidence from animal and human data that paraquat accumulated in brain tissue. The company no longer uses that language on its website.

“It is highly unethical for a company not to reveal data they have that could indicate that their product is more toxic than had been believed,” said Bruce Blumberg, professor of developmental and cell biology at the University of California, Irvine, speaking generally about corporate conduct. “[These companies are] trying to maximize profits and they jeopardize public health, and it shouldn’t be allowed. That is the scandal.”

‘A unique herbicide’

Paraquat is one of the most widely used weed killing chemicals in the world, competing with herbicides such as glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup brand for use in agriculture. Farmers use it to control weeds before planting their crops and to dry out crops for harvest. In the United States, the chemical is used in orchards, wheat fields, pastures where livestock graze, cotton fields and elsewhere. As weeds have become more resistant to glyphosate, paraquat popularity has surged.

It is used on approximately 15m acres of US farmland. US government data shows that the amount of paraquat used in the United States has more than tripled between 1992 and 2018.

On the Syngenta-run Paraquat Information Center website, the chemical is described as “a unique herbicide” that “can deliver safe, effective weed control, generating social and economic benefits, while protecting the land for future generations”.

Paraquat has been the subject of more than 1,200 safety studies submitted to, and reviewed by, regulatory authorities around the world, according to Syngenta.

Though it is widely used, paraquat has long been known to be dangerous to ingest – a tiny swallow of the chemical can kill a person within days. Scores of people around the world have died from ingesting paraquat either intentionally or accidentally. The EPA restricts use only to people certified to apply it. It is not sold to consumers, and paraquat warning labels carry the symbol of death – a skull and crossbones.

Syngenta maintains on its website that if users follow directions and wear proper protective clothing, including gloves and boots, “there is no risk to human safety”. Paraquat is “not a neurotoxicity hazard,” and “does not cause Parkinson’s disease”, the company states.

Despite the company’s claims, dozens of countries have banned paraquat, both because of the acute dangers and mounting evidence of links to health risks such as Parkinson’s from chronic, long-term exposure. Syngenta currently sells paraquat products in more than two dozen countries, from Australia to Uruguay.

Paraquat was banned in the European Union in 2007 after a court found that regulators did not thoroughly assess safety concerns, including scientific evidence connecting Parkinson’s to paraquat. It is also banned in the UK, although it is manufactured there. The chemical was banned in Switzerland, Syngenta’s home country, in 1989. And it is banned in China, the home base for ChemChina, which purchased Syngenta five years ago.

In the US, the EPA has largely agreed with Syngenta and other chemical companies that say paraquat can be safely used. Last year, the EPA said it would continue to allow farmers to use paraquat, including spraying it across fields from small airplanes.

A ‘Parkinson’s pandemic’

Concerns about possible ties between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease have grown as the spread of Parkinson’s has accelerated; the disease is now considered one of the world’s fastest-growing neurological disorders. Prevalence of Parkinson’s more than doubled from 1990 to 2015 and is expected to continue to expand rapidly, impacting millions of people around the world. Along with paraquat, toxins in air pollution and other pesticides, and to a smaller extent genetic factors, also are considered by many researchers as risk factors for the disease.

Roughly 60,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with Parkinson’s, and in recent years it has been ranked among the top 15 causes of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Moreover, the death rate from Parkinson’s has climbed more than 60% in the United States over the past two decades, according to research published last year. It is considered the fastest-growing neurological disease in the world.

As a disease of the central nervous system, common Parkinson’s symptoms include tremors, or a rhythmic shaking in arms and legs, stiffness and rigidity of the muscles, a loss of balance and coordination, and difficulty speaking. Parkinson’s symptoms develop when dopamine-producing neurons in a specific area of the brain called the substantia nigra are lost or otherwise degenerate. Without sufficient dopamine production, the brain is not capable of transmitting signals between cells to control movement and balance

“The Parkinson’s pandemic has exacted an enormous toll on tens of millions of individuals who bear the brunt of the disease,” Ray Dorsey, a neurologist at the University of Rochester Center for Health + Technology in New York, wrote in a 2020 book about the rise of the disease.

Dorsey is one of a number of leading scientists from around the world who say research clearly shows paraquat exposure can cause Parkinson’s disease.

“Paraquat is considered the most toxic herbicide ever created,” Dorsey said in an interview.

Syngenta said the weight of evidence actually shows that paraquat does not cause Parkinson’s and said a 2021 study co-authored by its chief medical office backs that position. The company also pointed to a 2020 update to the US Agricultural Health Study (AHS) as supporting its position. (The 2020 AHS looked at a much larger group of people than prior AHS research has linked paraquat to Parkinson’s, however.)

“There is no properly designed epidemiological study that shows a link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease,” the company said in a statement.

“To this day, and despite hundreds of studies being conducted in the past 20 or so years, a causal link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease has not been established,” Chevron USA said in a statement to the Guardian.

Toxic timeline

Syngenta predecessor ICI first recognized paraquat’s value as a herbicide in 1955, launching its paraquat brand Gramoxone in the UK in 1962 and then in the United States shortly after.

Even as the company was bringing paraquat to the market, its scientists were starting to see early signs of possible problems with the product. Internal records show that in 1958, an ICI researcher reported to a colleague that company tests on laboratory animals found exposure to a chemical compound related to paraquat appeared to affect the central nervous system.

A 1964 ICI study on rabbits noted dermal exposure to paraquat caused symptoms such as “weakness and incoordination” in some of the animals receiving very high doses. In 1966, ICI scientists studying paraquat exposure effects on a variety of animals noted that large doses given to rats and mice showed effects on the central nervous system, with various impacts, including some animals displaying “hyper-excitability”, a stiff gait or tremors.

In 1968, paraquat poisoning deaths were starting to mount around the world, as many people intentionally used the herbicide as a tool for suicide. With the deaths, according to the documents, came multiple autopsies and analyses revealing that paraquat was accumulating in brain tissue in people who had ingested small amounts of paraquat.

In the early 1970s, animal studies by ICI researchers found more evidence of the chemical’s ability to move into the brain, as well as the lungs, and spinal cord. Field workers exposed to the chemical were complaining of health problems, and the documents indicate that by 1974 some state regulators were expressing concerns about the potential long-term, chronic effects on workers who might inadvertently lick small quantities of paraquat residue off lips, or inhale paraquat mist. Company officials were also warned of rumors that some people inside the EPA were in favor of banning paraquat.

In response, Chevron executives decided the labeling on Gramoxone needed stronger warning language, including advising users to wear goggles and a respirator when spraying. Notes from a February 1974 meeting referred to the “paraquat toxicological problems in the USA” and “increasing numbers of reports of toxicological effects of paraquat to applicators in the field”.

ICI expressed concern about market “repercussions” outside the US from added warnings, but agreed to the changes, according to the meeting notes.

Notes from a follow-up meeting a month later quoted a Chevron lawyer as saying “to a lawyer there is evidence now that paraquat could cause industrial injury and it should be recognized that Chevron could face suits totalling millions of dollars”.

A year later, Chevron fears were growing. In a July 1975 letter to ICI, a Chevron toxicologist noted “problems of nosebleed and sore throat in our own plant workers”, as well as studies indicating the potential for central nervous system effects from paraquat. The Chevron scientist asked ICI for information, saying “anything you have on the question of permanent injury from paraquat, or any follow-up evaluations several years after spraying would be of benefit to us.”

Notes from an October 1975 meeting between Chevron and ICI recorded that “Chevron are concerned on the chronic effects of paraquat sprays … The syndrome is reported as injury to the CNS … ”

The notes state that there may be a need for long-term toxicity studies or an epidemiology study because “Chevron would like more positive data to use in litigation cases”. In the same meeting, it was noted that an autopsy of a recent paraquat poisoning victim had found lesions on the motor neurons “sufficient to cause debilitation” but the notes said it was not clear what might have induced this effect. (Motor neurons are cells in the brain and spinal cord that send commands from the brain to the rest of the body.)

In a December 1975 letter to the Chevron toxicologist, an ICI scientist wrote: “We discussed last week the point you raised about possible chronic effects, which you see causing legal problems. This is a quite terrible problem and, frankly, I do not believe a satisfactory investigation can be made. However, I think some plan could be made, and to be as definitive as possible, any study must be as free from doubt as possible.”

Bad news builds

As the companies fretted, the bad news continued to build: a 1976 autopsy of a farmworker reviewed by ICI showed “degenerative changes” in the “cells of the substantia nigra” of the brain. Such changes are a hallmark of Parkinson’s, but the autopsy said they were probably because of lung damage. A Chevron memo that year noted “gaps in our knowledge of the chronic effects of paraquat exposure”.

By 1985 the science on paraquat health effects had become the subject of vigorous research by independent scientists, and the findings were ringing alarm bells within Chevron’s highest ranks.

In October 1985, an internal memorandum circulated to Chevron officials noted that a study by a Canadian researcher had found “an extraordinarily high correlation” between Parkinson’s and the use of pesticides, including paraquat. The memo also noted that paraquat was “chemically very similar” to the byproduct of synthetic heroin called MTPT, “which produces almost instant Parkinson’s, by killing dopaminergic neurons in the brain”.

The author of the Canadian study had warned that an increase in Parkinson’s disease would be seen as a consequence of the relatively recent introduction of paraquat-like pesticides.

The memo then warned that paraquat could turn out to be a huge legal liability, similar to the fate that befell an asbestos company when the common building material was found to cause cancer.

The asbestos situation “highlighted the especially severe financial risks involved in selling a product which contributes to a chronic disease”, the memo states. “Parkinson’s can go on for decades.”

R Gwin Follis, the retired chairman of Standard Oil – which became known as Chevron in 1984 – wrote to GM Keller, the chairman of Chevron: “I cannot think of anything more horrible for us to bequeath to our successors than an asbestos problem.” Chevron stopped selling paraquat a year later, in 1986.

The “decision to exit the paraquat distribution business was made solely for commercial reasons due to increased competition and did not relate to any health concerns regarding paraquat,” Chevron USA said in a statement to the Guardian.

The company added that during the years a former Chevron subsidiary sold paraquat, it “met or exceeded all federal and state requirements for product-safety testing before and after release on the market”.

A ‘defensive position’

Through the 1990s and into the 2000s, the research on paraquat and Parkinson’s expanded, inside and outside Syngenta. Several US researchers did studies that found unsettling impacts of paraquat on mice, adding more evidence the chemical could cause Parkinson’s.

Syngenta noted these “external pressures on paraquat” and decided its own scientists should repeat studies done by the outside scientists to see if they came up with the same results. There was a caveat: the Syngenta science team “avoided measuring PQ [paraquat] levels in the brain, since the detection of any PQ in the brain (no matter how small) will not be perceived externally in a positive light”, according to an internal Syngenta presentation.

“Data generated will be used to build a scientifically robust, defensive position for paraquat in response to the issues already in the scientific literature, and to questions raised by the media, customers and regulatory authorities,” another Syngenta document stated.

“The issue around the claims that paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease are linked needs to be addressed if the future Syngenta aspirations for the product are to be realised.”

Along with making a plan to generate data for its defense, Syngenta began honing a broader “influencing” strategy and “freedom to sell” strategy. A 2003 eight-page document made the objectives clear: the goal was not just to protect paraquat, but to expand its use.

At the time, the chemical was under regulatory review in Australia and the European Union. The company worried about evolving regulatory policies posing “a threat”, including that regulators may start to replace “higher hazard products with lower hazard products”, and apply a “precautionary principle”.

Under that type of regulatory approach, companies seeking to sell a chemical have a burden of proving product safety. In contrast, the US regulatory system largely takes the opposite approach – a chemical must be proven unsafe to be kept off the market.

In response to the growing regulatory threats, Syngenta said it would take several steps, including leading “national, regional and global industry initiatives to influence regulatory policy”.

The company also set as an objective “targeted collaborations with key influencers to improve product image … ”

Internal communications show the company discussed consultations with several senior European scientists, and plans to “contribute substantively [sic] to the literature”, including for studies being done for submission to the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Agricultural Health Study in the US, a decades-long collaborative research project involving multiple US government agencies.

As Syngenta honed its defenses, the data from its internal studies started to come in. The first internal study done in 2003 was designed to dose mice with paraquat as outside scientists had done, and then measure any loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra of the animals’ brains. Syngenta’s tests did find losses but used a manual counting technique for analyzing those losses that was different from the automated technique used by independent scientists. Under the Syngenta analysis, the impacts of paraquat on the animal’s brains were deemed not statistically significant, a finding Syngenta made public.

What the company did not publicize at the time, however, was the fact that Syngenta scientist Louise Marks, who led the animal studies in question, repeated those studies using the more accurate, automated technique used by independent scientists.

he found that when using an automated analysis technique, paraquat actually did result in a statistically significant loss of the relevant brain cells – just as the outside scientists had found. Marks did another study, and the results were the same. Marks could not be reached for comment.

Deposition testimony given in the current litigation by longtime Syngenta scientist Phillip Botham, which has not previously been made public and during which a judge was not present, indicates that company officials would not tell the EPA of Marks’ research findings until roughly 15 years later, in 2019. The company only told the EPA about the Marks’ data after lawyer Steve Tillery, who in 2019 was suing Syngenta on behalf of people with Parkinson’s, threatened to send the evidence to the EPA himself, according to a transcript of Botham’s testimony.

When asked about the Marks tests, Sygnenta said: “The Marks studies involved a model in which a particular breed of mouse was injected with near-lethal doses of paraquat. Such models are of limited relevance to evaluating the safety of those using paraquat occupationally.”

The deposition also revealed that when Syngenta said on its website that paraquat did not readily cross the blood-brain barrier, and did not reach the specific area of the brain necessary to produce Parkinson’s symptoms, the company knew those statements were not accurate.

When asked in the deposition if that information was true at the time it was posted on the website, Botham admitted it “certainly had some inaccuracies”. “It appears that this communication had not had a chance, for reasons which I can’t fully explain, to catch up with the science that was still emerging,” he said. Part of the reason the company never reported Marks’ findings on its website, he said, was because subsequent research produced different results.

A secret plan

Part of the strategy to influence regulators involved trying to lobby for and against who the EPA looked to for independent scientific advice. In 2005, the EPA was considering appointing Dr Deborah Cory-Slechta to an open position on an important agency scientific advisory panel (SAP) on pesticides. Cory-Slechta was an influential US scientist whose work at the time was establishing ever stronger evidence that paraquat could cause Parkinson’s disease.

“This is important. We do not want to have Cory-Slechta on the SAP core panel,” Syngenta senior research scientist Charles Breckenridge wrote to colleagues in a June 2005 email.

Company emails show Syngenta decided to ask Ray McAllister, a regulatory policy expert at the industry lobbying group CropLife America (CLA), to disparage Cory-Slechta’s work in communications to the EPA. Syngenta officials wrote what they wanted McAllister to tell the EPA, and delivered it to McAllister.

“Ray has a tough job to do in providing comments that don’t come back to haunt CLA and be used against us,” one Syngenta executive wrote to colleagues.

Another Syngenta executive wrote to colleagues that it was “going to be very difficult to pin something really specific on D C-S … ”

The company decided secrecy would be key. The company did not want the public or the EPA to know Syngenta was behind the effort.

“I would ask that you handle our comments with care and in such a way that they cannot be attributed to Syngenta,” Greg Watson, a Syngenta regulatory affairs executive, wrote to McAllister. He then suggested that the communications to the EPA about Cory-Slechta “should be submitted informally & NOT placed in the public docket”.

In a separate email, Watson wrote that “for many, many of our projects it would be a real disaster to have her on the SAP!”

Watson suggested, among other things, that McAllister tell the EPA that Cory-Slechta used an “over-interpretation of data” to present scientific conclusions that were “in reality, speculation,” and was someone who made “overly dogmatic” statements.

McAllister communicated the concerns about Cory-Slechta to the EPA without mentioning they came from Syngenta. The agency chose someone else for the advisory panel.

The documents show similar efforts to influence the roster of scientists selected by the EPA for a 2010-11 pesticide advisory panel. At that time, Syngenta advised CropLife to tell the EPA that Cory-Slechta was using her research program for “anti-pesticide advocacy” and was identifying effects “without quality data”.

Cory-Slechta was not selected for the panel in question, while a scientist supported by CropLife was.

When asked to comment about the company’s actions against her, Cory-Slechta said she was not surprised. She said Syngenta representatives had tried various tactics over the years to intimidate her, and also at least once to woo her with an invitation to help fund and collaborate on research.

“They would follow me around,” she said in an interview. “It was clear they were not happy with me. Consistently our research showed that when you administer paraquat in rodent models you would see a loss of dopamine cells … in the substantia nigra. That is the hallmark, or the gold standard, of Parkinson’s disease.”

She said: “They didn’t like the data. They saw a threat to a huge market.”

Cory-Slechta said she is not anti-pesticide, nor pro-pesticide. “I want to stay in the middle,” she said. “I pride myself and I go overboard to stay in the middle. I let myself be led by the data.”

When asked about the Cory-Slechta correspondence, Syngenta said: “We disagree and take exception to this mischaracterization.”

The plaintiffs’ lawyer Steve Tillery was poised to present many of these internal documents and other evidence at a June 2021 trial in Illinois that would have been the first major court challenge to Syngenta and Chevron over the Parkinson’s connection to paraquat.

Just as the trial was set to begin, however, Syngenta agreed to pay $187.5m to settle with the plaintiffs in that case and several others, according to a disclosure in the company’s 2021 financial statement. The company did not admit liability as part of the settlement. It is not clear how much, if any, Chevron might have paid.

Other lawyers are now pressing claims for more than 2,000 other plaintiffs with Parkinson’s disease, including filing lawsuits on behalf of people with Parkinson’s in Canada.

The EPA’s agreement to reconsider its assessment of paraquat was welcomed by the farmworker groups, Parkinson’s scientists and others who brought the court challenge. The agency has said it will take another look at the health risks and costs that come with the widespread use of paraquat, and will have a revised report out in a year.

“Our research partners have studied the ample and compelling evidence showing paraquat’s association with neurological degradation and symptoms related to PD,” Ted Thompson, senior vice president of public policy at the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, said in an email.

“We believe the federal government and the EPA should use every tool at their disposal to eliminate its risk.”

It is not clear however, if the EPA’s extended review of paraquat will change the agency’s position. EPA scientists said in its 2019 draft human health risk assessment that its review of research about the potential association between paraquat and Parkinson’s had found only 71 studies out of 489 to be relevant to the agency’s analysis.

The agency “has not found a clear link between paraquat exposure from labeled uses and adverse health outcomes such as Parkinson’s disease … ” the agency states on its website.

While the agency conducts its reassessment, paraquat use continues.

This story is co-published with the New Lede, a journalism project of the Environmental Working Group. Carey Gillam is managing editor of the New Lede and the author of two books addressing glyphosate: Whitewash (2017); and The Monsanto Papers (2021)

20/10/22: Propyzamide linked to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IFD)

Cosmos Magazine

https://cosmosmagazine.com/science/herbicide-propyzamide-promotes-ibd/

Scientists identify a readily available herbicide which might lead to IBD

The herbicide propyzamide has been found to interfere with the suppression of pro-inflammatory pathway in the gut.

A new study in Nature has identified an environmental chemical agent that might promote gastrointestinal inflammation or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Herbicides with the active ingredient propyzamide, which is the subject of the research, are available in Australia.

The report says propyzamide may boost inflammation in the small and large intestine by disrupting an anti-inflammatory pathway.

Inflammatory bowel disease is a term for two conditions – Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – which are complex chronic inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.

Research has shown that there are about 200 genetic loci associated with the disease, but less is known about the specific environmental factors that influence the risk and severity of IBD.

Now, the Nature study has systematically identified environmental chemical agents that promote gastrointestinal inflammation, and specifically identified a common herbicide called propyzamide, that may boost inflammation in the small and large intestine by disrupting an anti-inflammatory pathway.

Senior author Francisco Quintana, a neurology professor at the Centre for Neurologic Diseases at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the US, says environmental factors are known to be important in influencing autoimmune and inflammatory disease.

Propyzamide is widely used to control certain grasses and broad-leaf weeds in sports fields, crops and pastures. It’s used in Australia under various brand names.

And research has shown that about 60% of the chemical remains unmetabolised by the plant 50 days after its application.

With a series of cell-culture, zebrafish, and mouse experiments, they were able to show that propyzamide interferes with the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), a protein that’s involved in immune regulation.

In the study, researchers found that AHR maintains gut homeostasis by suppressing a second, pro-inflammatory pathway that had previously been shown to be genetically linked with IBD.

“Our methodology allowed us to identify a chemical that disrupts one of the body’s natural ‘brakes’ on inflammation,” Quintana says.

The team is now working to target this inflammatory pathway by engineering nanoparticles and probiotics to activate AHR.

“The anti-inflammatory AHR pathway we identified could be strengthened to ameliorate disease, and, further down the road, we could also investigate additional ways to deactivate the pro-inflammatory response,” says Quintana. “As we learn more about the environmental

factors that might contribute to disease, we can develop strategies to limit exposures.

“Some chemicals don’t seem to be toxic when tested under basic conditions, but we do not yet know about the effect of chronic, low-level exposures over decades, or early-on in development.”

Cosmos has not yet contacted any distributors of propyzamide-based products for comment.

26/5/22: Torrens Creek (South Australia). Gumeracha. Pesticide: Triclopyr

Torrens Creek – Gumeracha (South Australia)

Rain event – Torrens Creek u/s Gumeracha township 26/5/22: Triclopyr 0.3ug/L

Rain event – Torrens Creek u/s Gumeracha township 26/5/22: Triclopyr 0.3ug/L

26/5/22: Millers Creek (South Australia). Pesticide: MCPA

Millers Creek (Torrens River) Catchment – South Australia

26/5/22: Millers Creek (Torrens River) Catchment: MCPA 0.09ug/L (Rain event)

 

2013-2020: Home Hill Emergency Bores. Pesticides: Atrazine and metabolites

Home Hill Emergency Bores Raw Water 2013-2020

PFAS also detected

Atrazine 0.8ug/L (max) 0.178ug/L (av.)

Desethyl Atrazine 0.8ug/L (max) 0.178ug/L (av.)

Desisopropyl Atrazine 0.09ug/L (max), 0.035ug/L (av.)

2013-2020: Home Hill Bores Raw Water. Pesticides: Multiple

Home Hill Bores Raw Water 2013-2020

PFAS also detected

Atrazine 0.63ug/L (max) 0.031ug/L (av.)

Desethyl Atrazine 6ug/L (max) 0.128ug/L (av.)

Desisopropyl Atrazine 0.2ug/L (max), 0.034ug/L (av.)

Bromacil 0.1ug/L (max), 0.026ug/L (av.)

DCPMU 0.03ug/L (max), 0.023ug/L (av.)

Diuron 0.16ug/L (max), 0.028ug/L (av.)

Metolachlor 0.1ug/L (max), 0.025ug/L (av.)

2010-2020: Chambers Bores, Ayr. Pesticides: Atrazine, Desethyl Atrazine, Imazapic

Chambers Bores Raw Water Quality 2010-2020

PFAS above guideline levels also detected

Atrazine 0.02ug/L (max)

Desethyl Atrazine 0.01ug/L (max)

Imazapic 0.01ug/L (max)

2010-2020: Nelsons Borefield, Ayr. Pesticides: Desethyl Atrazine, Bromacil, Dimethoate, Flusilazole

Nelsons Borefield Raw Water Quality 2010-2020

Desethyl Atrazine 0.08ug/L (max)

Bromacil 0.26ug/L (max)

Dimethoate 0.4ug/L (max)

Flusilazole 0.05ug/L

PFAS above guideline levels also detected.

2015-2020: Conlan Street Bores, Ayr. Pesticides: Multiple

Conlan Street Bores Raw Water Quality 2015-2020

Desethyl Atrazine 0.07ug/L (max), 0.02ug/L (av.)

Bromacil 0.03ug/L (max), 0.028ug/L (av.)

DEET 0.4ug/L (max), 0.194ug/L (av.)

Haloxyfop 0.17ug/L (max), 0.04ug/L (av.)

Imazapic 0.02ug/L (max), 0.013ug/L (av.)

PFAS also detected

2010-2020: South Ayr Raw Water Quality. Pesticides: Multiple

South Ayr Raw Water Quality 2010-2020

Ametryn 0.04ug/L (max)

Atrazine 0.72ug/L (max)

Desethyl Atrazine 0.15ug/L (max)

Desisopropyl Atrazine 0.04ug/L (max)

Diuron 0.1ug/L (max)

Haloxyfop 0.07ug/L (max)

Imazapic 0.03ug/L (max)

Imidacloprid 0.18ug/L (max)

Metolachlor 0.35ug/L (max)

PFAS also detected

Oct 3 2022: Glyphosate found inside Australian’s urine

The age group most at risk of having weedkiller in their system

Oct 3 2022.

One-in-12 Australians have a common weedkiller in their system, research has discovered, but who is most at risk is not evenly spread across the population.

Researchers from the University of Queensland tested urine samples from more than 1800 Australians, finding 8 per cent had low levels of glyphosate in their system.

Dr Sarit Kaserzon from UQ’s Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences said the result was good news, relatively speaking, when compared with the rates of the chemical found in other countries.

“In the United States, for example, according to the CDC report recently 80 to 90 per cent of samples came back positive,” she said.

“In France they recorded even higher numbers, so we’re very relieved to see that levels are much lower in Australia, but there’s still things to examine about how people are being exposed here.”

Kaserzon stressed that the levels at which the chemical was found in people’s systems were below the recommended safe guidelines, meaning that even the people who had it in their system were probably not at risk.

However much work was being done on the effect of glyphosate on humans, and what was a “safe” level was yet to be determined sufficiently, she said.

The question is the subject of legal action, including an Australian class action against chemical giant Monsanto, scheduled for hearing in 2023.

The urine samples were sourced from pathology samples which had been de-identified except for demographic information such as age and sex.

The research discovered people in the 45-60 age group were much more likely to have glyphosate in their system.

Kaserzon said they did not have any direct evidence, but the levels involved and the age group suggested it was household gardeners who were directly using products containing glyphosate.

The UQ researchers partnered with New Zealand’s Massey University to compare the Australian levels with 27 farmers who work with glyphosate in that country.

They found the farmers’ levels were much higher than the samples from Australia, which gave them an indication that people who directly used the product were most at risk, rather than people acquiring it through food and drink.

Lead research author, UQ PhD candidate Garth Campbell, said the finding suggested extra precautions should be taken by anyone using glyphosate products, even casually.

“Farmers or anyone else who regularly use chemicals containing glyphosate should wear goggles, protective gloves and avoid inhalation of dust and mist,” he said.

“I also highly recommend additional measures including protective clothing, mask wearing and hand washing after handling a product with glyphosate, and ensure it is stored safely.”

Kaserzon said more monitoring was needed to get more accurate figures about its prevalence in the population.

“More research is also needed into whether adults excrete it from their urine at the same rate,” she said.

“We assume that 20 per cent of [glyphosate] you ingest is excreted, but recent studies suggest it could be as low as 1 per cent, which means we’re under-estimating how much people are exposed.

“For the general population it might not make much difference but it would have a huge impact on farmers, which means more work is needed.”

2022 October: Peregrine Falcon Resurgence coming back from near Extinction

The peregrine falcon’s ‘remarkable’ resurgence coming back from near extinction

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-10-03/sa-peregrine-falcons-resurgence/101494554

The peregrine falcon looks set to hit another milestone in its unlikely comeback from the brink of extinction.

The bird of prey is the fastest animal on the planet and its ‘rare’ conservation status is currently under review in South Australia.

Experts predict that status will be changed, making it the last state in the country to list the species population as ‘secure’.

After decades of pesticide poisoning and persecution, the resurgence of the native bird has been described as “nothing short of remarkable”.

Field ornithologist, Ian Falkenberg — who has been documenting peregrines for 40 years — said research on the peregrine’s population helped Australia avert a “major environmental crisis”.

Chemical destruction

Mr Falkenberg said pesticides widely used by farmers between the 1960s and 1980s almost wiped out the apex predator.

“Those chemicals started to accumulate in the food that they eat,” he said.

“They consume small amounts over time which means that they get a very large dose over a long time.”

Mr Falkenberg said chemicals like DDT, which was a commonly used in agriculture, caused the falcons to lay thinner eggs leading to a dramatic drop in the number of chicks being hatched.

“It caused a 28 per cent decrease in eggshell thinning and basically an egg won’t hatch if it’s at 25 per cent,” he said.

“If we kept using these chemicals for another decade essentially we would have been in the situation that America and parts of Europe were in, with the falcon being wiped out in some areas.”

The decline in population sparked bans across the country on the use of certain deadly pesticides in the late 1980s.

“We have a lot to be indebted to for the peregrine falcon alerting various countries on the devastation that these chemicals can actually cause,” Mr Falkenberg said.

“It is a great story and one in which by looking at wildlife populations we can determine the health of the environment.”

The falcon feud

The peregrine’s diet consists mostly of other birds, and it’s one of the most efficient apex-predators in the world.

But its particular love for eating pigeons has also made it the subject of persecution.

“Peregrine falcons have been blamed for killing racing pigeons over the years,” Mr Falkenberg said.

“I know this, because a lot of the birds that I’ve been banding over the years, the band returns were sent back to me by pigeon racing clubs.”

While peregrine hunting is mostly a thing of the past, the falcon remains a heated topic among pigeon racers.

Tom Tirrell has been racing pigeons for 60 years and said he loses at least 40 per cent of his flock a season to the falcon.

“I can remember a time when you would take your birds as a junior, we flew 13 pigeons and we lost 1 pigeon on either line,” he said.

“Now if you start with 50 or a 100 pigeons you would struggle to get 20 or 30 at the end of the season.”

The veteran racer said his beloved pigeons do not stand a chance against a bird capable of flying up to 300 kilometres per hour.

“They create havoc and just put them down to ground or put them through trees,” Mr Tirrell said.

“It’s not like a warm fluffy pigeon that to me doesn’t do anything.”

“They’re out and out killers.”

But Mr Falkenberg said that peregrines play an important role in reducing the number of pest species like pigeons.

“They were trying to portray these Falcons as just simply ruthless killers of their pets, which simply wasn’t the case,” he said.

“The domestic pigeon is actually a feral animal, and causes significant environmental problems in some areas.”

“They take over nesting sites of native birds and spread disease.”

“We also found that 25 per cent of feral pigeons around buildings have pigeon racing rings on them.”

The feud between pigeon racers and peregrines was so serious that racing groups in the 1970s called for the hawk to be killed and for their heads to be sent to the clubs in containers.

City life ‘a perfect alternative’

After almost being extinct, experts believe there may be more peregrines now than ever before.

It means nesting sites have become more common, even among urban environments like the ABC Adelaide office in Collinswood.

Ecologist Stuart Collard said that is because peregrines have adapted better than any other native animal to city-life.

“They’ve been able to adapt to that environment, so typically they would nest on a cliff so they might find a ledge on a cliff but a high-rise building is also a perfect alternative,” he said.

“So they’ve got a high vantage point that’s nice and protected and they have access to prey.”

“It’s terrific and it’s unusual that species actually go the other way. Oftentimes in an urban environment we’re watching species decline”

Dr Collard, who is also an operations manager for Green Adelaide, said the organisation is looking to set-up a peregrine nest live camera, like the one on Collins Street in Melbourne.

“We’d love to have a similar sort of story which engages thousands of people like it does in Victoria,” Dr Collard said.

28/9/22: Blueberry Blues – Coffs Harbour

Blueberry blues: how the cash crop is causing a contamination crisis in Coffs Harbour

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/sep/28/blueberry-blues-how-the-cash-crop-is-causing-a-contamination-crisis-in-coffs-harbour

High levels of chemicals used to grow the berries are ending up in the water – and it’s community groups, rather than regulators, who are blowing the whistle.

In a region once famous for its Big Banana, blueberries are now the dominant crop. The berries account for $200m of the $250m agriculture industry in the Coffs Harbour district.

But with the change of use came concerns in this idyllic community on the New South Wales mid north coast about the environmental impact of pesticides and fertiliser runoff from these intensive farms. It may now be reaching a crisis, according to some scientists.

During heavy rain, water can be seen coursing down hills into creeks and rivers carrying sediment, high levels of fertiliser and other chemicals that are used to grow and protect blueberries.

It ultimately ends up in lakes and the sea, and scientists warn it is now threatening the north coast’s other major industries: fishing and prawn trawling.

The Coffs Harbour city council has been increasingly intervening to demand development applications when farms are set up or expanded in order to manage the problem.

The story of blueberries in the Coffs Harbour region is a salutary lesson in how pesticides and other agricultural chemicals are regulated.

Who monitors pesticides in the environment?

In theory, pesticide use and environmental monitoring fall to state environment protection authorities. But in practice it’s often left to community groups, academics and activist councillors to blow the whistle.

Policing proper use of pesticides is split between the state environment and agriculture agencies.

There are few resources devoted to the issue, yet pesticides are by their nature some of our most toxic poisons, so their escape into waterways or other parts of the environment can have serious unintended consequences.

While regulators acknowledged and responded to the dangers of DDT and other organochlorines, it is now known that seemingly safer new-generation pesticides, such as the neonicotinoids, can have an impact on bees and aquatic life even at very small doses.

Only the most dramatic events seem to gain official attention.

In 2020 the Victorian Environment Protection Authority took action against a commercial flower grower in the coastal town of Torquay after nearby residents suffered vision impairment, sore throats, breathing difficulties, headaches, nausea and vomiting.

Investigators found the chemical was being used to prepare ground for a new crop, but had been incorrectly applied and reacted with moist soil to produce methyl isothiocyanate, which is a hazardous gas.

Three people were taken to hospital by ambulance and a fourth transported himself. The grower was fined $70,000 without conviction.

The Victorian EPA said it did not have any statistics on other pesticide incidents and directed the Guardian to the agriculture department.

In NSW, the state’s EPA is responsible for policing both chemical use and pollution in the environment, including spray drift incidents.

It said it takes “a risk-based approach to pesticides and works with other agencies, industry, academic institutions and public interest groups”.

Over the past three years, there have been only two successful prosecutions of Pesticides Act offences in NSW. The EPA has also issued 30 advisory letters, 27 formal warnings, 30 official cautions, three clean-up actions and one prevention notice.

‘Hearnes Lake isn’t dead but it’s nearly dead’

It took more than 130 incident reports from the community and research by Southern Cross University in association with the Coffs Harbour council in 2017-18 to get official action over the impacts of the rapid expansion of blueberry farms and other intensive horticulture in the region.

Researchers found that nitrogen oxide levels in creeks feeding into the Hearnes Lake catchment were up to 695 times higher during high rainfall events than in dry weather and levels were as high as the worst rivers in China. This was attributed to fertiliser runoff.

Hearnes Lake is particularly important because it serves as a nursery for the nearby Solitary Islands marine park, which in turn nurtures the abundant seafood of the region.

Finally the Natural Resources Access Regulator stepped in on water use issues and the EPA undertook inspections and testing around Hearnes Lake, focusing on the impact of pesticides and fertilisers.

In October 2021 it issued a $7,500 fine and a caution to a blueberry farmer at Woolgoolga over pesticide pollution and storage. It has also put out guidance notes in an effort to raise standards of pesticide use among blueberry growers.

Nine inspections in late 2021 detected low levels of the insecticide imidacloprid – a neonicotinoid – and two cucumber growers were issued with cleanup notices over pesticide containers left near waterways.

Even tiny amounts of imidacloprid can be highly toxic to aquatic life.

Southern Cross University marine science professor Kirsten Benkendorff said her research has found residues of neonicotinoids above the safe residue limits in prawn flesh and in water in Hearnes Lake.

Pesticides had also been found in oysters and while it is causing stress, they seem to be more resistant, she said.

“Hearnes Lake isn’t dead but it’s nearly dead,” she said.

Further up the coast in the Richmond River, Benkendorff has detected high levels of atrazine, a potent endocrine disrupter that affects sexual development and has been linked to cancer. It is banned in Europe but still used on sugar cane and other crops in Australia.

The EPA announced in May it is targeting pesticide use in the Hearnes Lake catchment.

Spray drift and the burden of proof

One of the biggest problems for the regulation of pesticides in the environment is that the burden of proof falls on academics and the community.

Benkendorff said it cost more than $300 for each of her samples to be tested for pesticides, putting it beyond the reach of many communities. Separate tests were needed to detect glyphosate (sold as Roundup or Zero), one of the most common herbicides in use in Australia.

Matt Landos, a veterinarian and honorary lecturer in aquatic health at the University of Sydney, said the environment protection authorities are often reluctant to follow up on allegations of spray drift or concerns about environmental pollution because of the difficulty in getting a successful prosecution.

Spray drift incidents need to be investigated quickly and people reporting them often faced an almost insurmountable burden of establishing who was spraying and where the drift came from, Landos said

23/9/21: Hing Lee Hong Enterprise Ltd (China). Breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Carbendazim

Hing Lee Hong Enterprise Ltd (China) –  Exported Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Carbendazim

23/9/21: Dried Longan – Hing Lee Hong Enterprise Ltd (China): Carbendazim 0.06mg/kg. Not permitted in this food

Source: AQIS Failing Food Surveys. Department of Agriculture Australia

17/9/21: Progressive Mango Growers Multan. Breaching Australian MRL: Tebuconazole

Progressive Mango Growers Multan (Pakistan) –  Exported Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Tebuconazole

17/9/21: Mangos Fresh – Progressive Mango Growers Multan (Pakistan): Tebuconazole 0.13mg/kg. Detected in excess of MRL

Source: AQIS Failing Food Surveys. Department of Agriculture Australia

17/9/21: Manahel Group (Egypt). Breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos

Manahel Group (Egypt) –  Exported Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Chlorpyrifos

17/9/21: Okra – Manahel Group (Egypt): Chlorpyrifos  0.02mg/kg. Not permitted on this food

Source: AQIS Failing Food Surveys. Department of Agriculture Australia

15/9/21: Song Tran Import and Export (Vietnam). Breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Carbendazim

Song Tran Import and Export Co Ltd (Vietnam) –  Exported Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Carbendazim

15/9/21: Frozen whole durian – Song Tran Import and Export Co Ltd (Vietnam): Carbendazim  0.13mg/kg. Not permitted on this food

Source: AQIS Failing Food Surveys. Department of Agriculture Australia

24/8/21: Rgn Exports (India). Breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos

Rgn Exports (India) –  Exported Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Chlorpyrifos

24/8/21: Fresh kolkata betel leaves – Rgn Exports (India): Chlorpyrifos 0.03mg/kg

Source: AQIS Failing Food Surveys. Department of Agriculture Australia

28/7/21: Anatolia (Iran). Breached Australian MRL. Pesticide: Propargite

Anatolia (Iran) –  Exported Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Propargite

28/7/21: Pitted Dates – Anatolia  (Iran): Propargite 0.11mg/kg Not permitted on this food

Source: AQIS Failing Food Surveys. Department of Agriculture Australia

26/8/21: Xiangyang Tianma Zhonge Trading Co Ltd  (China). Breaching Australian MRL’s: Pesticides: Myclobutanil, Pyraclostrobin

Xiangyang Tianma Zhonge Trading Co Ltd  (China) –  Exported Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Myclobutanil, Pyraclostrobin

26/8/21: Dried Lemon Slices – Xiangyang Tianma Zhonge Trading Co Ltd  (China): Myclobutanil 0.1mg/kg

26/8/21: Dried Lemon Slices – Xiangyang Tianma Zhonge Trading Co Ltd  (China): Pyraclostrobin 0.54mg/kg

Source: AQIS Failing Food Surveys. Department of Agriculture Australia

2/8/21: Hunan Duoying Agricultural Science Co Ltd (China). Breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Flusilazole

Hunan Duoying Agricultural Science Co Ltd (China) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Flusilazole

2/8/21: Fresh sugar snap pea – Hunan Duoying Agricultural Science and Technology Co Ltd (China) – Pesticide: Flusilazole 0.1mg/kg. Not permitted on this food

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

23/7/21: Tropical Green Co Ltd (Thailand). Breaching Australian MRL for Chlorpyrifos

Tropical Green Co Ltd (Thailand) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Chlorpyrifos

23/7/21: Fresh mangosteens – Tropical Green Co Ltd (Thailand) – Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos 0.36mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

2021: Pt Mitratani Dua Tujuh (Indonesia). Breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Permethrin

Pt Mitratani Dua Tujuh (Indonesia) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Permethrin

22/7/21: Edamame soybeans in pod – Pt Mitratani Dua Tujuh (Indonesia) – Pesticide: Permethrin 0.08mg/kg

21/9/21: Soybeans in pod – Pt Mitratani Dua Tujuh (Indonesia) – Pesticide: Permethrin 0.08mg/kg. Detected in excess of MRL

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

12/7/21: Red Dragon Co Ltd (Vietnam). Pesticide: Cypermethrin

Red Dragon Co Ltd (Vietnam) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Cypermethrin

12/7/21: Fresh Lychee – Red Dragon Co Ltd (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Cypermethrin 0.132mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

2/7/21: Shanghai Dongmei Import and Export Co Ltd (China). Breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Cyhalothrin

Shanghai Dongmei Import and Export Co Ltd (China) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Cyhalothrin

2/7/21: Frozen Spinach – Shanghai Dongmei Import and Export Co Ltd (China) – Pesticide: Cyhalothrin detected – not permitted in this food. 0.011mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

August 25 2022: 70 Flying Foxes Poisoned. Pesticide: Dieldrin

Suspected poisoning of Shoalhaven flying-foxes

25 Aug 2022

https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/news/suspected-poisoning-of-shoalhaven-flying-foxes

Up to 70 grey-headed flying-foxes found dead in the Shoalhaven area earlier this year may have been poisoned, prompting authorities to remind people to properly dispose of chemicals and pesticides.

Mike Saxon from the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) said tragically a banned organochlorine pesticide, Dieldrin, was confirmed in one flying-fox and there are signs that others had also ingested a poison.

“At this stage we have not been able to identify any person responsible and we do not know if this was a deliberate or accidental poisoning,” Mr Saxon said.

“We are continuing enquiries but regardless, this tragic incident highlights the horrible impact banned pesticides have on our native wildlife.

“Grey-headed flying-foxes play a vital role in our environment pollinating our forests and dispersing our rainforest seeds. They also feed on fruit, including backyard fruit trees.

“We know this can frustrate gardeners but remind people that grey-headed flying-foxes are listed as a threatened species in New South Wales. They are protected under the Biodiversity Conservation Act and it is an offence to harm them,” Mr Saxon said.

The department is partnering with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to inform the community about risks associated with improper storage and use of pesticides. Director of Regulatory Operations Cate Woods said the use of Dieldrin has been banned in Australia since 1987, noting that it can accumulate in native animals and livestock and contaminate soil for decades.

“This is a good reminder to check areas of your property where old pesticide or chemical stocks may be forgotten and dispose of them lawfully,” Ms Wood said.

“Any old stocks of organochlorine pesticides like Dieldrin should be stored securely and properly labelled until they can be safely disposed of at a Household Chemical CleanOut event.

“These events accept household quantities up to a maximum of 20 litres or 20 kilograms of a single chemical or item. They are free services held across New South Wales.

“The next Household Chemical Clean Out Event in the Shoalhaven is this Sunday, 28 August, 9 am–3 pm at the Woollamia Council Works Depot, 3 Erina Road Woollamia.

“We much prefer that people come forward and dispose of these chemicals or poisons correctly, rather than try to dispose of them another way that may end up harming our environment and wildlife,” Ms Wood said.

The department would like to thank the team at Wildlife Rescue South Coast, North Nowra Veterinary Hospital, Taronga Zoo and volunteers who helped recover and identify the cause of death for these flying-foxes

June 2021: Malar Exports (India). Breaching Australian MRL’s: Carbendazim, Chlorpyrifos, Difenconazole, Metalaxyl

Malar Exports (India) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Carbendazim, Chlorpyrifos, Difenconazole, Metalaxyl

28/6/21: Betel leaves – Malar Exports (India) – Pesticide: Carbendazim Detected – not permitted in this food

28/6/21: Betel leaves – Malar Exports (India) – Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos 0.18mg/kg

28/6/21: Betel leaves – Malar Exports (India) – Pesticide: Difenconazole 0.05mg/kg

28/6/21: Betel leaves – Malar Exports (India) – Pesticide: Metalaxyl 0.49mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

1/6/21: Nguyen Thanh lep Co Ltd (Vietnam) breaching Australian MRL’s. Pesticides: Difenconazole, Metalaxyl, Cyhalothrin

Nguyen Thanh lep Co Ltd (Vietnam) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Difenconazole, Metalaxyl, Cyhalothrin

1/6/21: Frozen red chilli – Nguyen Thanh lep Co Ltd (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Difenconazole 0.1mg/kg

1/6/21: Frozen red chilli – Nguyen Thanh lep Co Ltd (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Difenconazole 0.1mg/kg

1/6/21: Frozen red chilli – Nguyen Thanh lep Co Ltd (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Metalaxyl 0.16mg/kg

1/6/21: Frozen red chilli – Nguyen Thanh lep Co Ltd (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Difenconazole 0.15mg/kg

1/6/21: Frozen mixed chilli – Nguyen Thanh lep Co Ltd (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Difenconazole 0.14mg/kg

1/6/21: Frozen mixed chilli – Nguyen Thanh lep Co Ltd (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Difenconazole 0.07mg/kg

1/6/21: Frozen green chilli – Nguyen Thanh lep Co Ltd (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Difenconazole 0.06mg/kg

1/6/21: Frozen green chilli – Nguyen Thanh lep Co Ltd (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Cyhalothrin Detected, not permitted in this food

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

18/5/21: Shenzhen J.F.Li Fruit Co Ltd (China), breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Cyhalothrin

Shenzhen J.F.Li Fruit Co Ltd (China) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Cyhalothrin

18/5/21: Pear – Shenzhen J.F.Li Fruit Co Ltd (China) – Pesticide: Cyhalothrin Detected – not permitted in this food

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

21/5/21: D & T Green Foods (Vietnam), breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Difenconazole

D & T Green Foods Ltd (Vietnam) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Difenconazole

21/5/21: Frozen Red Chilli – D & T Green Foods Co Ltd (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Difenconazole 0.055mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

2021: Benz Exports (India). Breaching Australian MRL’s. Pesticides: Chlorpyrifos, Profenofos, Cypermethrin

Benz Exports  (India) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Chlorpyrifos, Profenfos, Cypermethrin

14/5/21: Spinach – Benz Exports (India) – Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos. 0.074mg/kg

14/5/21: Broad bean pods – Benz Exports (India) – Pesticide: Profenofos. 0.072mg/kg

2/9/21: Whole broad beans – Benz Exports (India) – Pesticide: Cypermethrin. 0.07mg/kg

2/9/21: Whole broad beans – Benz Exports (India) – Pesticide: Profenofos. 0.17mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

10/5/21: M. Mandoor and Co Pak, breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Propargite

M. Mandoor and Co Pak Ltd  (Pakistan) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Propargite

10/5/21: Raisins – M. Mandoor & Co Pak Ltd (Pakistan) – Pesticide: Propargite. Not permitted in this food.

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

14/4/21: Yongzhou Huiyou Agriculture Development Limited Company (China), breaching Australian MRL’s for Thiamethoxam, Difenconazole

Yongzhou Huiyou Agriculture Development Limited Company (China) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Thiamethoxam, Difenconazole

14/4/21: Snow Peas – Yongzhou Huiyou Agriculture Development Limited Company (China) – Pesticide: Thiamethoxam 0.02mg/kg.

14/4/21: Snow Peas – Yongzhou Huiyou Agriculture Development Limited Company (China) – Pesticide: Difenconazole 0.08mg/kg.

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

2021: Patidar Exports Pvt Ltd. Breaching Australian MRL’s. Pesticides: Thiamethoxam, Carbendazim

Patidar Exports Pvt Ltd (India) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Thiamethoxam, Carbendazim

1/4/21: Raisins Sultana – Patidar Exports Pvt Ltd (India) – Pesticide: Thiamethoxam 0.25mg/kg.

20/4/21: Raisins – Patidar Exports Pvt Ltd (India) – Pesticide: Carbendazim 0.5mg/kg.

28/6/21: Raisin sultana – Patidar Exports Pvt Ltd (India) – Pesticide: Carbendazim 1.19mg/kg.

28/6/21: Raisin sultana – Patidar Exports Pvt Ltd (India) – Pesticide: Carbendazim 1.28mg/kg.

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

16/3/21: Dakahlia (Egypt). Breaching Australian MRL for Mandarins. Pesticide: Pendimethalin

Dakahlia (Egypt) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Pendimethalin

16/3/21: Mandarins – Dakahlia (Egypt) – Pesticide: Pendimethalin 0.08mg/kg.

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

16/2/21: Eastern Condiments (India). Breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: 2-Phenylphenol

Eastern Condiments (India) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: 2-Phenylphenol

16/2/21: Cambodge tamarind fruit – Eastern Condiments Pvt Ltd (India) – Pesticide: 2-Phenylphenol. 0.37mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

2021 February: JM Exports Tonga, breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Acephate

JM Exports (Tonga) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Acephate

9/2/21: Frozen Yam – JM Exports (Tonga) – Pesticide: Acephate. Detected. Not permitted in this food.

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

2021: Jayalanka Supplier (Sri Lanka). Breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: 2-Phenylphenol

Jayalanka Supplier (Sri Lanka) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: 2-Phenylphenol

8/2/21: Goraka Fruit – Jayalanka Supplier (Sri Lanka) – Pesticide: 2-Phenylphenol. Detected. 0.37mg/kg

4/6/21: Goraka Fruit – Jayalanka Supplier (Sri Lanka) – Pesticide: 2-Phenylphenol. Detected. 0.22mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

8/2/21: Guangzhou Meixiang Yang Catering Management Co Ltd (China). Breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Carbendazim

Guangzhou Meixiang Yang Catering Management Co Ltd (China) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Carbendazim

8/2/21: Dried Longan – Guangzhou Meixiang Yang Catering Management Co Ltd (China) – Pesticide: Carbendazim. Detected. Not permitted in this product

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

February 2021: PDS FZE (United Arab Emirates). Breaching Australian MRL for Cypermethrin

PDS FZE (United Arab Emirates) –  Exported Food breaching Australian MRL for: Cypermethrin

1/2/21: Dried Fig – PDS (FZE) (United Arab Emirates): Cypermethrin 0.27mg/kg

Source: AQIS Failing Food Surveys. Department of Agriculture Australia

2021 January: Nolka Limited (Papua New Guinea). Breaching Australian MRL for Cyhalothrin

Nolka Limited (Papua New Guinea) –  Exported Food breaching Australian MRL for: Cyhalothrin

25/1/21: Chilli – Nolka Limited (Papua New Guinea): Cyhalothrin Detected. Not permitted in this food.

Source: AQIS Failing Food Surveys. Department of Agriculture Australia

2021 January: SPN Exports (India). Breaching Australian MRL’s for Carbendazim, Profenofos, Chlorpyrifos, Fipronil, Metalaxyl

SPN Exports (India) Exported Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Indoxacarb

18/1/21: Fresh betel leaves line 1a – SPN Exports (India) – Pesticide: Carbendazim Detected not permitted in this food.

18/1/21: Fresh betel leaves line 1a – SPN Exports (India) – Pesticide: Profenofos 5.5225 mg/kg.

18/1/21: Fresh betel leaves line 1b – SPN Exports (India) – Pesticide: Carbendazim Detected not permitted in this food.

18/1/21: Fresh betel leaves line 1b – SPN Exports (India) – Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos Detected not permitted in this food.

18/1/21: Fresh betel leaves line 1b – SPN Exports (India) – Pesticide: Fipronil Detected not permitted in this food.

18/1/21: Fresh betel leaves line 1a – SPN Exports (India) – Pesticide: Metalaxyl 0.4039 mg/kg.

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

2021 January: Orange for Agricultural Crops (Egypt) breaching Australian MRL for Indoxacarb

Orange for Agricultural Crops (Egypt) Exported Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Indoxacarb

15/1/21: Fresh Lemons (Egypt) – Orange for  Agricultural Crops (Egypt) – Pesticide: Indoxacarb 1.16mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

202January 2021: Qingdao Oea Foods Co Ltd, breaching Australian MRL for Procymidone

Qingdao Oea Foods Co Ltd. breaching Australian MRL for Procymidone

15/1/21: Frozen Brocolli (China) Qingdao Oea Foods Co Ltd Procymidone Detected not permitted in this food

January 2021: Goodlife Company Ltd (Vietnam), breaching Australian MRL’s for Carbendazim, Cypermethrin, Iprodione, Permethrin

Goodlife Company Ltd. (Vietnam) breaching Australian MRL for Carbendazim, Cypermethrin, Iprodione, Permethrin

5/1/21: Dragon Fruit (Vietnam) Goodlife Company Ltd. Carbendazim Detected. Not permitted in this food.

5/1/21: Dragon Fruit (Vietnam) Goodlife Company Ltd. Cypermethrin 0.069mg/kg.

5/1/21: Dragon Fruit (Vietnam) Goodlife Company Ltd. Iprodione 0.16mg/kg.

5/1/21: Dragon Fruit (Vietnam) Goodlife Company Ltd. Permethrin 0.39mg/kg.

December 2020: Anqiu Artisan Agricultural Products Co Ltd. (China) Breaching Australian MRL for Thiabendazole

Anqiu Artisan Agricultural Products Co Ltd. breaching Australian MRL for Thiabendazole

15/12/20: Garlic Shoots (China) Anqiu Artisan Agricultural Products Co Ltd. Thiabendazole 0.28mg/kg

26/11/20: Patel Chaturbhai Ranchholdbhai Pulses breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos

Patel Chaturbhai Ranchhodbhai Pulses Llp breaching Australian MRL for Chlorpyrifos

26/11/20: Toor dal (pea) – Patel Chaturbhai Ranchhodbhai Pulses Llp (India) – Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos 0.017mg/kg

November 2020: BJ & T Stock Company (Vietnam), breaching MRL’s for Carbendazim, Iprodione

BJ & T Joint Stock Company breaching Australian MRL’s for: Carbendazim

20/11/20: Frozen Whole Jurian- BJ & T Joint Stock Company (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Carbendazim 0.18mg/kg

20/11/20: Frozen Whole Jurian- BJ & T Joint Stock Company (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Iprodione 0.39mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

October 2020: Jay Keshav Exports breaching Australian MRL’s. Pesticide: Cyhalothrin

Jay Keshav Exports Pvt Ltd breaching Australian MRL’s for: Cyhalothrin

7/10/20: Manuka Sultana Currant – Jay Keshav Exports Pvt Ltd  (India) – Pesticide: Cyhalothrin 0.66mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

October 2020: Micson Food Processing (China). Breaching Australian MRL’s

Micson Food Processing breaching Australian MRL’s for: Cypermethrin, Propargite

7/10/20: Pitted Red Dates – Micson Food Processing (China) – Pesticide: Cypermethrin 0.15mg/kg

7/10/20: Pitted Red Dates – Micson Food Processing (China) – Pesticide: Propargite 0.073mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

13/3/19: Bool Lagoon South Australia. Helicopter Spraying Accident

13/3/19: Bool Lagoon South Australia

Wirestrike involving a Robinson R44, VH-ZWK, 20 km from Naracoorte, South Australia, on 13 March 2019

https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2019/aair/ao-2019-011/

What happened

On 13 March 2019, a Robinson R44 helicopter, registered VH-ZWK and operated by Helifarm, was conducting aerial spraying operations at Bool Lagoon, around 20 km south of Naracoorte, South Australia.

While spraying along a drainage channel, the helicopter pilot momentarily forgot about the location of a powerline spanning the channel, as he manoeuvred the helicopter over a bridge. The helicopter collided with the powerline, then crashed into the ground. The helicopter was destroyed and the pilot sustained minor injuries.

What the ATSB found

The helicopter pilot momentarily lost awareness of the powerline as he manoeuvred over the bridge. Nearby vegetation, which reduced the pilot’s ability to see the power poles and visually identify the powerline, probably reduced the pilot’s ability to maintain this awareness. The operator had a number of policies and procedures to support pilots’ powerline awareness, and it may not be possible to completely mitigate the risk of wirestrike during repeated low-level flying near powerlines.

As a result of this momentary loss of awareness, the helicopter collided with the powerline, which led to a collision with terrain. The bladder-type fuel tank installed in the accident helicopter, as compared to an all-aluminium fuel tank, probably reduced the risk of a post-accident fire.

What’s been done as a result

The operator has implemented new policies and procedures to increase pilots’ awareness of powerlines during spraying operations, particularly spraying of drains. These include improved maps and other planning documents for drain spraying operations involving flying near powerlines, and increased training of helicopter pilots engaged in these operations.

Safety message

This accident provides another reminder of the dangers posed by powerlines during low-level spraying operations.

The ATSB has released, in association with the Aerial Application Association of Australia (AAAA), an educational booklet, Wirestrikes involving known wires: A manageable aerial agriculture hazard (AR-2011-028). This booklet contains numerous wirestrike accidents and lessons learned from them. The AAAA has now launched its Powerline Safety Program that aims to encourage and facilitate power companies to improve aviation safety. The program includes marking of powerlines by powerline network operators (with a marker in accordance with Australian Standard AS 3891-2) wherever it is requested by a pilot, aviation company or landholder.

As this accident highlights, there may be limits to the extent to which operators can mitigate the risk of wirestrike during repeated low-level operations near powerlines. Helicopter wirestrike protection (WSPS) can provide a last line of defence in the event of a wirestrike. Some aircraft selected for aerial agriculture operations can be configured to include WSPS. However, this technology is not currently available on smaller helicopters such as the R44.

Pilots and operators involved in low-level spraying are also reminded that flight helmets can reduce the risk of serious injury in the event of an accident.

 

31/7/20: Steam Plains (NSW) Helicopter Accident

31/7/20: Crop Duster Accident near Hay (NSW)

ATSB issues helmet warning in final report on Riverina helicopter crash that killed Dan Slennett

March 14 2022: https://www.areanews.com.au/story/7648207/atsb-issues-safety-warning-in-final-report-on-fatal-helicopter-crash/

Investigators have handed down their final report into the death of a Griffith-based helicopter pilot in a crash near Hay and have called for checks on safety equipment and procedures.

Dan Slennett, aged 34 and originally from Condobolin, suffered fatal injuries on July 31, 2020 when the Robinson R44 Raven helicopter he was piloting sustained significant damage in a crash.

Mr Slennett died three days later at Royal Melbourne Hospital.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released its report on Friday, which found the helicopter hit a single wire power line and then the ground while Mr Slennett was spraying for weeds at a Steam Plains property, between Conargo and Hay.

“The pilot knew the wire existed and overflew a small section of the target area earlier that morning, but did not conduct an aerial inspection to identify hazards and verify the location of the powerline on the accident flight,” the report stated.

“Without the aerial hazard check, the pilot was reliant on seeing the wire during the flight, but was unable to do so in time to avoid the wirestrike.”

As a result of the investigation, the ATSB has issued a safety advisory notice to strongly encourage pilots that work at a low altitude to wear a flight helmet and ensure it is properly maintained, fitted and secured with a chin strap.

Mr Slennett was wearing a helmet during the crash but it was not effective in preventing fatal injuries.

“Either the impact forces exceeded the helmet design specifications, or the helmet was not fitted, worn or maintained correctly,” the ATSB report stated.

The ATSB found that Mr Slennett’s was likely wearing the same helmet when he suffered facial injuries during a crash in 2018 but there was no evidence it had subsequently been inspected or had maintenance.

Mr Slennett was working for Riverina Helicopters at the time of his death, a company that operates out of Griffith Airport.

Riverina Helicopters said it had changed ownership since the crash and was unable to comment.

Investigators were also unable to conclude whether Mr Slennett slipped out of his three-point restraint or was not wearing it, which led to flail injuries during the crash.

The ATSB also found that Mr Slennett had been diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnoea in January 2020 but had not adhered to using a CPAP machine most nights to improve his breathing during sleep.

“The pilot was not effectively managing severe obstructive sleep apnoea, which has been shown can cause impairments in cognitive functions including attention and short-term memory, and increased the risk of the pilot suffering the effects of fatigue,” the ATSB report stated.

“It could not be determined whether the pilot was experiencing any impairments associated with the condition.

“The condition had also not been disclosed to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, which prevented oversight of any ongoing safety risk associated with the condition.”

23/2/22: Pilot killed in crop dusting accident, Seaview Gippsland

23/2/22: Pilot dies after his crop dusting Piper PA-25 plane crashed near Grand Ridge Road Seaview in Gippsland.

 

 

15/7/22: Fungicide spill – Western Ring Road, Melbourne

Residents warned after chemical spill on major Melbourne road

(according to other media reports 40 tonnes of a fungicide was spilt)

July 15 2022: https://www.9news.com.au/national/truck-crash-chemical-spill-in-tullamarine-melbourne/0be16f28-2a13-40e4-a035-6098170359a2

Local residents have been warned to stay indoors following a chemical spill in Tullamarine, Melbourne.
A truck carrying hazardous pesticides crashed over a freeway embankment and was left hanging, with the driver trapped, at about 2am on Western Ring Road.
The driver has been rescued and taken to hospital, after he was trapped in the mangled cabin for hours.
But the operation is still underway, with pesticide spilled across the road.
An exclusion zone is in place, with people in Tullamarine warned to avoid the area and also to stay indoors.
It’s expected the mop-up operation could take most of the morning.
The truck has still not been removed and the road is closed, with police, fire, ambulance and Rescue Victoria crews on the scene.
Police have said it is an “incredibly delicate” operation.
Drivers this morning are advised to avoid the area, including Caterpillar Road and parts of Melrose Drive.
However, the airport should still be accessible through other routes.
Police were unsure as to the causes of the crash, but an investigation is underway.

2022 July: Why are pesticides banned overseas still used in Australia…?

Why are pesticides banned overseas still used in Australia and what does it mean for the environment?

British campaigners say Australia uses toxic pesticides prohibited in the UK on health and environmental grounds. Here’s how the countries differ

July 11 2022: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jul/11/why-are-pesticides-banned-overseas-still-used-in-australia-and-what-does-it-mean-for-the-environment

Environmental campaigners in the UK have expressed concern that a trade deal could result in the importation of Australian food that is produced with pesticides banned there.

The Australia-UK free trade agreement, which was signed last December, has been criticised in the UK as being too liberalised on pesticides. A bill to implement the trade deal has not yet been passed by the UK parliament.

Josie Cohen of Pesticide Action UK told the Guardian last week that Australia uses toxic pesticides that are banned in the UK on health and environmental grounds. “They also permit residue levels many times more than in the UK,” she said.

According to the organisation, Australia authorises the use of 144 highly hazardous pesticides, compared with 73 permitted in the UK.

How do Australia’s pesticide regulations differ from the UK, what pesticides are used in Australia but banned overseas, and what health and environmental impacts do they have?

Banned overseas, permitted in Australia

All pesticides approved for use in Australia are regulated by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). Certain pesticides that are available in Australia are no longer in use overseas.

For example, paraquat, a herbicide used since the 1950s, has been banned in more than 50 countries including the UK. Research has linked it to negative impacts on aquatic ecosystems and it is highly toxic to humans. But in Australia paraquat has been under review by the APVMA since the 1990s and is still used commercially.

A class of substances called neonicotinoids have been used on Australian crops – including cotton, canola and fruit and vegetables – since 1994. Common neonicotinoid substances have been banned in the EU and UK, and restricted in the US and Canada, out of concern for negative impacts on insects – specifically European honeybee populations.

Fipronil, an insect nerve agent, is also banned in the EU and UK to protect honeybees but is approved for use in Australia.

“The scientific information available indicates that managed and wild honeybee populations are not in decline in Australia,” the APVMA stated in 2019, when it began a review into neonicotinoids. But honeybee populations may now be at risk if the deadly varroa mite, detected in the past fortnight in New South Wales, establishes itself in Australia.

Different regulatory approaches

“The risks and benefits of the same pesticide can differ markedly between countries, and this may lead to different regulations,” says Nicholas Buckley, a professor of clinical pharmacology at the University of Sydney. “Various things drive stricter regulation – there’s environmental concerns, chronic effects on human health, from use or food residues, and acute poisoning risks.”

“For some of the pesticides, the concerns relate to the environment and not humans. People are worried about bee toxicity, for example with neonicotinoids and fipronil, which are not very dangerous substances for humans, but kill bees with tiny, tiny exposures,” Buckley says.

“The reason they’re called neonicotinoids is because they act like nicotine, but they’re selective for insects over humans, so they’re less toxic than nicotine [to humans].”

Dr Tanzim Afroz, a lecturer at Edith Cowan University, says Australia’s approach to pesticide regulation is “incautious” compared with UK legislation, which has been influenced by EU policy. “The EU approach is to adopt the ‘precautionary principle’ – where there is scientific uncertainty, take precaution,” she says.

“Australia doesn’t implement the precautionary principle when we’re talking about pesticide management, at the legislative nor at executive level,” Afroz says. Instead, Australia has taken a regulatory approach, which Afroz says stemmed from a belief that “pesticides improve competitiveness and [productivity] of farm businesses”.

“The central purpose of Australian pesticide policy is usually to make pesticides available to those who wish to use them,” Afroz says, noting that approval takes into account specific criteria such as environmental impacts, residues, toxicology and occupational health and safety.

In contrast, a briefing published by the UK parliamentary office of science and technology last September says: “Although pesticides have not yet been established as a definite cause for any chronic health effects, regulatory authorities may withdraw pesticides for use if there is evidence of correlation with health or environmental concerns or significant scientific uncertainty about potential impacts, without the need to prove causality.”

Different environmental factors

Experts have pointed out that pesticide use has benefits in Australia. “Agricultural pesticides have undoubtedly reduced food loss and helped farmers provide the unblemished produce we have grown so used to,” researchers previously wrote in The Conversation.

​​Nigel Andrew, a professor of entomology at the University of New England, describes pesticide use as a “conundrum”, particularly in light of extreme weather events due to climate change.

“If you don’t use pesticides, you do actually have to have a reduction in the quality of food. But also, if you’re using pesticides which are very generalised, they will have unexpected impacts,” he says.

Warming temperatures may result in pest species spreading in Australia from tropical areas, Andrew says. “We will find more species that will become more problematic because their populations might not be pushed back over winter.”

Farming practices differ between the UK and Australia as the result of different environmental factors, he says. “We can have a bigger issue with pest species in terms of taking out major crops … It’s a bigger landscape with more diverse environments.”

 

4/7/2022: NSW Central West Spray Drift

Slow-burning problem’: residual ill will about chemical spray drift

4/7/2022: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jul/04/slow-burning-problem-residual-ill-will-about-chemical-spray-drift

Farmers in NSW’s central west fear chemical exposure is becoming a threat to food production and authorities are slow to respond.

A tourist barrelling along the highways of the central west might not notice anything wrong with the trees, but grazier Bruce Maynard, who has lived his whole life on the same farm between Trangie and Narromine, believes the land is sick.

The canaries in the coalmine are the bare peppercorn trees at the local golf course. Maynard says they were so dense with foliage in his youth that you couldn’t see through them.

He lays out the leaves of native trees – kurrajong, red river gum, bimble box – on his kitchen table, as well as introduced varieties such as yucca; all growing in the New South Wales Orana region, all dotted with the same black necrotic spots.

According to Maynard, the problem has been increasing in severity and rapidity, affecting all vegetation in the area since 2018.

He is a spokesperson for the community overspray groups who believe the passive chemical exposure from cotton farms – which exist in a mosaic among grazing and cropping farms – is a threat to all activities within the affected regions.

Food producers have to certify that their produce has not been exposed to chemicals in ways that would leave residues or cause food risk, Maynard says.

However, producers like him are “trapped” because the vegetation around them indicates chemical exposure is likely to have occurred, yet the responsible authorities are not responding to locals’ reports.

Because the food they produce feeds the nation, and the effect of chemicals on the environment is increasingly recognised as a worldwide public health threat, Maynard says the issue should transcend local concern.

“It’s everybody’s story, not just a bush one any more.”

‘Causal agent’

Last month, Peter Ampt, an adjunct professor in regenerative agriculture at Southern Cross University and an independent consultant, was engaged by the Macquarie Valley Landcare Group to address gatherings in Warren, Trangie and Narromine about conservation.

Ampt says that his observations while in the area on 16 and 17 June were that multiple vegetation species – which should have been growing very strongly after two years of good rainfall – were under stress.

Trees planted only 10 or 15 years ago as carbon sequestration plantings have died in the last five years, “with symptoms of low-level herbicide damage over a period of time leading to that death”, he says.

A report commissioned by the Department of Industry in 2018, obtained via Freedom of Information laws in 2020, states that defoliation in the area was “most likely a result of a large area spraying with temperature inversions moving fine particles of chemical longer distance than would be expected compared to physical droplet spray drift”.

Farmers in NSW’s central west fear chemical exposure is becoming a threat to food production and authorities are slow to respond

A tourist barrelling along the highways of the central west might not notice anything wrong with the trees, but grazier Bruce Maynard, who has lived his whole life on the same farm between Trangie and Narromine, believes the land is sick.

The canaries in the coalmine are the bare peppercorn trees at the local golf course. Maynard says they were so dense with foliage in his youth that you couldn’t see through them.

He lays out the leaves of native trees – kurrajong, red river gum, bimble box – on his kitchen table, as well as introduced varieties such as yucca; all growing in the New South Wales Orana region, all dotted with the same black necrotic spots.

According to Maynard, the problem has been increasing in severity and rapidity, affecting all vegetation in the area since 2018.

He is a spokesperson for the community overspray groups who believe the passive chemical exposure from cotton farms – which exist in a mosaic among grazing and cropping farms – is a threat to all activities within the affected regions.

Food producers have to certify that their produce has not been exposed to chemicals in ways that would leave residues or cause food risk, Maynard says.

However, producers like him are “trapped” because the vegetation around them indicates chemical exposure is likely to have occurred, yet the responsible authorities are not responding to locals’ reports.

Because the food they produce feeds the nation, and the effect of chemicals on the environment is increasingly recognised as a worldwide public health threat, Maynard says the issue should transcend local concern.

“It’s everybody’s story, not just a bush one any more.”

‘Causal agent’

Last month, Peter Ampt, an adjunct professor in regenerative agriculture at Southern Cross University and an independent consultant, was engaged by the Macquarie Valley Landcare Group to address gatherings in Warren, Trangie and Narromine about conservation.

Ampt says that his observations while in the area on 16 and 17 June were that multiple vegetation species – which should have been growing very strongly after two years of good rainfall – were under stress.

Trees planted only 10 or 15 years ago as carbon sequestration plantings have died in the last five years, “with symptoms of low-level herbicide damage over a period of time leading to that death”, he says.

A report commissioned by the Department of Industry in 2018, obtained via Freedom of Information laws in 2020, states that defoliation in the area was “most likely a result of a large area spraying with temperature inversions moving fine particles of chemical longer distance than would be expected compared to physical droplet spray drift”.

The latest report commissioned by Macquarie Valley Landcare Group, which Maynard is affiliated with, was published in 2021 by the ecologist David Goldney, an adjunct professor at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst.

Goldney said in his opinion, “there is a prima facie case that herbicide drift, particularly in the Autumn period prior to cotton harvesting, is very likely the causal agent in initiating the widespread dieback of native and non-native vegetation in the Narromine–Trangie area”.

A spokesperson for Cotton Australia told the Guardian that their organisation “works closely with relevant government departments in educating, training, and promoting best practice to all farmers in relation to the effective and safe application of chemicals”.

They also highlighted that over 20 different crops are grown in the Narromine/Trangie area, “most of which use agricultural chemicals under strict protocols and regulations”.

Sal Ceeney, a cereal and cotton farmer in Warren, who also works in stewardship for Cotton Australia, said cotton growers ensure chemical application is conducted to “a really high standard”.

“We live in this community, we live in the environment, as well as everybody else here. So we’re all trying to do the best to make sure that the chemicals that are used are done so responsibly.”

Ceeney says unintended spray drift is a concern for all agricultural industries which use the chemical sprays common in modern agriculture.

According to Ampt, the increased number of weeds due to the rain this season leads to an increased frequency and a range of herbicides used to control them, and consequently an increased risk of drift onto neighbouring areas.

‘Evidenced-based response’

Maynard says stakeholders have been trying for over four years to engage with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) about the issue, but the response has consistently been inadequate.

Steve Fuller of the Crop Pollination Association said that honey contamination due to spray drift from cotton was a problem.

“When we do report a spraying … to the EPA, we get told it’s not their issue, it’s to go to another area,” he says.

“When we go to another area, we keep on getting told it’s an EPA issue.”

On 3 May 2021 Narromine free range, pastured and chemical-free egg farmer Colin Hamilton noticed burn spots on leaves and a quarter of his grass die where his hens run, and reported the event to the EPA.

“They didn’t follow up on that at all,” he said.

“Because I couldn’t accurately say who was spraying and where it came from, they wouldn’t do any more work on it.”

Ampt says that while “people that know the landscape well are better able to understand what the impact is, what I suspect is happening is that people are not seeing the problem because it’s a slow-burning problem”.

An EPA spokesperson told the Guardian that “the EPA has actively investigated the potential link between spray drift and alleged defoliation of peppercorn trees in the Narromine and Trangie (Macquarie Valley) area”.

“The EPA investigates all reports made to the environment line, but to date has not found enough evidence to link pesticide overspray or drift with defoliation.”

In 2020, the EPA commenced a broad-scale pilot pesticide monitoring campaign within the Gilgandra, Narromine and Warren local government areas in response to concerns being raised regarding pesticide drift.

The EPA spokesperson told the Guardian that the results to date show that ethephon, the only pesticide detected that is primarily used for cotton defoliation, was detected on two of 71 occasions when samples were collected.

The spokesperson said that the program was disrupted by Covid, but will continue in the Macquarie Valley for the 2022-23 season and be extended to the Narrabri cotton area (Namoi Valley), to examine the scope of the spray drift problem and develop an evidence-based response.

Connecting dots

On December 16 2021, Maynard and other stakeholders, including Landcare and the Nature Conservation Council, held an online meeting with several senior representatives of the EPA, including the then CEO Tracy Mackey.

Jo Immig, the coordinator of the National Toxics Network, expressed her disappointment with the EPA’s lack of action at the meeting.

At the time, Immig said, “the reality is that spray drift is occurring every day. It’s contaminating parts of the environment. It’s getting everywhere. But on your watch, nothing’s happening about it.”

“The implications, I think, if they actually joined dots together, are enormous,” she told the Guardian.

“It fundamentally means we have to rethink the way that so much agriculture is done.

“It’s as confronting as having to think about not using fossil fuels any more. As a result, it ends up in grey area all the time, which is the too hard basket.”

The EPA was approached for comment on the content of the meeting.

2015/20: Ingham (Qld) Drinking Water Bore Water. Pesticides: Atrazine, 2,4-D, Dalapon, Imidacloprid, Desethylatrazine, Hexazinone

Ingham (Qld) Water Supply. Groundwater Bores

Hinchinbrook Shire Council

Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2021

HIN 995 Groundwater

14/1/15: Atrazine 0.03ug/L

HIN 996 Groundwater

14/1/15: Atrazine 0.03ug/L

HIN 1327 Groundwater

20/3/19: 2,4-D 0.15ug/L, Dalapon (2,2-DPA) 0.4ug//L

HIN 1328 Groundwater

20/3/19: Imadacloprid 0.12ug/L, Atrazine 0.03ug/L, DesethylAtrazine 0.01ug/L, Hexazinone 0.04ug/L

HIN 1330 Groundwater

20/3/19: Dalapon (2,2-DPA) 0.2ug//L, Hexazinone 0.01ug/L, Imidacloprid 0.03ug/L

HIN 1331 Groundwater

20/3/19: Imidacloprid 0.1ug/L, Atrazine 0.03ug/L, DesethylAtrazine 0.01ug/L, Hexazinone 0.03ug/L

HIN 1378 Groundwater

25/3/20: Imidacloprid 0.08ug/L, Hexazinone 0.03ug/L

HIN 1379 Groundwater

25/3/20: Imidacloprid 0.05ug/L, Hexazinone 0.02ug/L

HIN 1380 Groundwater

25/3/20: Imidacloprid 0.08ug/L, Hexazinone 0.04ug/L

HIN 1381 Groundwater

25/3/20: Imidacloprid 0.17ug/L, Atrazine 0.02ug/L, Hexazinone 0.05ug/L

HIN 1212 Groundwater

11/1/18: Imidacloprid 0.03ug/L

HIN 1213 Groundwater

11/1/18: Atrazine 0.02ug/L, Imidacloprid 0.03ug/L

2020/21: Daylesford Water Supply. Pesticides: Simazine, 2,4-D

Daylesford Drinking Water Supply (Wombat Creek Dam?)

2020/21: Simazine 0.09ug/L

2020/21: 2,4-D 0.06ug/L

2020/21: Beaufort (Victoria). Pesticide: Simazine

Beaufort Drinking Water Supply

2020/21: Simazine 0.02ug/L

February 22 2022: Spray Drift Clare (South Australia)

GPSA issues spray-drift warning to growers

Feb 22 2022 (Grain Central)

GRAIN Producers South Australia (GPSA) has warned growers that deliberately ignoring spraying laws could result in fines of up to $35,000 per offence following reports of damage to vineyards in Clare and the Riverland.

GPSA chair Adrian McCabe said the vast majority of grain growers did the right thing and followed the rules as outlined in GPSA’s Hit Your Target campaign.

“Most grain growers in South Australia implement a spraying program safely with consideration of weather conditions, other landholders, households in rural areas and crop types to minimise the risk of off-target spray damage,” Mr McCabe said.

“Grain growers who are deliberately ignoring the considerations of other crops when spraying could receive a maximum penalty of $35,000 per offence, reflecting the seriousness of not following mandatory label instructions.

“It makes good agronomic sense to stay on top of summer weeds through summer spraying to preserve moisture and nitrogen for the 2022 growing season and to prevent seed set for future years.”

Mr McCabe said with rising cost of inputs, particularly herbicides, growers would want to make sure they were getting the best results from their spray applications and not wasting any chemicals.

“However, in doing so, growers must adopt best-practice strategies and equipment to ensure spray drift doesn’t occur that results in damage to other people’s livelihoods.

“Grain growers need to make sure they are spraying safely and following the directions on the product label at all times, otherwise we risk losing access to important, cost-effective products.”

Mr McCabe said many growers have private on-farm weather stations, and a number of publicly platforms such as the Mid North, Riverland and Mallee Mesonet networks provided growers with information as to whether it was safe to spray.

“It would be prudent to subscribe to the Mesonet network to continue the ongoing maintenance of the multi-million system that provides valuable inversion-layer data to grain growers.”

A Riverland farmer was previously fined $7000 for failing to follow mandatory chemical label instructions as an example of what can happen to a grower not doing the right thing when it came to spraying.

 

March 2022: Rockingham (Western Australia). Poisoned Corellas. Pesticide: Fenthion

Corellas poisoned in Perth with banned substance has authorities worried

March 17 2022

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-17/corellas-poisoned-perth-banned-substance/100915922

Nearly 40 corellas have been mysteriously poisoned with a harmful insecticide that has been banned since 2015.

In the past month, 37 birds have been admitted to the WA Wildlife Hospital after being found at Beeliar Oval in Cockburn, south of Perth, with signs of fenthion toxicity.

But according to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), all fenthion-containing products were phased out of the market by late 2015 because they were deemed to pose “undue risks to the environment and to human health” and are no longer available on the Australian market.

Corellas are considered a pest in many parts of WA and, despite many councils and shires imposing control methods on the corella population, WA Parks and Wildlife Officer Matt Swan labelled the poisoning “abhorrent”.

“The department doesn’t support ad hoc poisoning on a localised level.

“So even though we might be frustrated, we might be angry that corellas are perhaps waking us up in the morning or chewing on our TV antennas, when we lay poison out other animals can consume that poison and they can succumb to that poison as well.”

WA Wildlife’s director of operations Dean Huxley said the centre received daily calls or emails from community members who had found dead birds that were showing signs of poisoning.

“When we get these cluster events, that’s when we’re really concerned,” he said.

“In addition to these ones that we’re seeing at Beeliar Oval, we have had reports of some birds in Rockingham that have just been found dead [with] very similar signs.”

Mr Huxley said it was often difficult to prove animals had been poisoned once they had decomposed in the environment.

“Unfortunately, if the animal does die, we can’t always send them off for testing because there are costs involved with that,” he said.

“But what we do when we get a cluster event, which is what happened here, we work with the authorities to send animals off for testing and try and get some results and definitive answers.”

Mr Huxley said one-third of the corellas with signs of poisoning had survived and recovered.

Authorities stress ‘humane’ population control

According to the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife, corellas are considered a “low conservation value species” and are not endangered in Western Australia.

“That means you don’t actually need a licence to undertake control of corellas in the Perth metropolitan area, subject to local government area [regulations],” WA Parks and Wildlife Officer Matt Swan said.

“But that’s prescribed, and it must be done by firearm.

Mr Swan said the department engaged the WA Local Government Association (WALGA) several years ago to involve local governments in corella population control.

“That’s done in a much more organised, controlled fashion where corellas are trapped en masse and euthanased humanely by professional contractors,” he said.

Community encouraged to report suspicious behaviour

Mr Swan said the department was interested if the community had any information about “mass mortality events”.

“We are probably less concerned about a dead corella here or there — it’s those mass mortality events that we’re very interested in.

“And we are trying to understand where these poisonings might be taking place because these birds are highly mobile, they can fly many kilometres.

“Just because they’ve been found at a particular oval, doesn’t mean that they’re being poisoned or impacted on at that particular site.”

The City of Cockburn and the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development are also investigating the poisoning.

March 17 2022: Poisoned Corellas, Beeliar Oval, Perth WA. Pesticide: Fenthion

Corellas poisoned in Perth with banned substance has authorities worried

March 17 2022

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-17/corellas-poisoned-perth-banned-substance/100915922

Nearly 40 corellas have been mysteriously poisoned with a harmful insecticide that has been banned since 2015.

In the past month, 37 birds have been admitted to the WA Wildlife Hospital after being found at Beeliar Oval in Cockburn, south of Perth, with signs of fenthion toxicity.

But according to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), all fenthion-containing products were phased out of the market by late 2015 because they were deemed to pose “undue risks to the environment and to human health” and are no longer available on the Australian market.

Corellas are considered a pest in many parts of WA and, despite many councils and shires imposing control methods on the corella population, WA Parks and Wildlife Officer Matt Swan labelled the poisoning “abhorrent”.

“The department doesn’t support ad hoc poisoning on a localised level.

“So even though we might be frustrated, we might be angry that corellas are perhaps waking us up in the morning or chewing on our TV antennas, when we lay poison out other animals can consume that poison and they can succumb to that poison as well.”

WA Wildlife’s director of operations Dean Huxley said the centre received daily calls or emails from community members who had found dead birds that were showing signs of poisoning.

“When we get these cluster events, that’s when we’re really concerned,” he said.

“In addition to these ones that we’re seeing at Beeliar Oval, we have had reports of some birds in Rockingham that have just been found dead [with] very similar signs.”

Mr Huxley said it was often difficult to prove animals had been poisoned once they had decomposed in the environment.

“Unfortunately, if the animal does die, we can’t always send them off for testing because there are costs involved with that,” he said.

“But what we do when we get a cluster event, which is what happened here, we work with the authorities to send animals off for testing and try and get some results and definitive answers.”

Mr Huxley said one-third of the corellas with signs of poisoning had survived and recovered.

Authorities stress ‘humane’ population control

According to the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife, corellas are considered a “low conservation value species” and are not endangered in Western Australia.

“That means you don’t actually need a licence to undertake control of corellas in the Perth metropolitan area, subject to local government area [regulations],” WA Parks and Wildlife Officer Matt Swan said.

“But that’s prescribed, and it must be done by firearm.

Mr Swan said the department engaged the WA Local Government Association (WALGA) several years ago to involve local governments in corella population control.

“That’s done in a much more organised, controlled fashion where corellas are trapped en masse and euthanased humanely by professional contractors,” he said.

Community encouraged to report suspicious behaviour

Mr Swan said the department was interested if the community had any information about “mass mortality events”.

“We are probably less concerned about a dead corella here or there — it’s those mass mortality events that we’re very interested in.

“And we are trying to understand where these poisonings might be taking place because these birds are highly mobile, they can fly many kilometres.

“Just because they’ve been found at a particular oval, doesn’t mean that they’re being poisoned or impacted on at that particular site.”

The City of Cockburn and the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development are also investigating the poisoning.

January 2022: Chemical concerns over mass bee kill (Sunraysia region, Victoria)

Chemical concerns after mass bee kill

Jan 2 2022

https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/chemical-concerns-after-mass-bee-kill-20211206-p59f84.html

Geelong beekeeper John Edmonds used to take his bee hives up to the Sunraysia region on the Murray River every winter to help pollinate the almond farms.

It’s a well-travelled route for beekeepers, with over 277,000 hives placed on almond orchards across Australia during blossom season from August to September each year.

However, Mr Edmonds has kept his bees at home for the past five years, deterred by the low prices paid by almond farmers to beekeepers and by the impact of the pesticides and fungicides used on the almond farms on his bees.

“When we first used to go up 25 years [ago], the bees would go in and they’d come out quite strong,” he said. “But in recent years they have been using more and more chemicals that are detrimental to the bees. I’d come home and for three months after your bees aren’t very good and I like to produce honey that is clean and green and no chemicals so I decided it wasn’t worth it.”

The use of chemicals may have resulted in a mass bee kill on two almond farms in the Sunraysia region this blossom season where millions of bees died.

One beekeeper, who did not want to be identified because he has been threatened with legal proceedings by an almond farmer, said he arrived at one of the farms to pick up his bees in September and found most of them were dead.

“There were piles of dead bees when I arrived, I’m not the only one, there are 30 or 40 beekeepers, which means thousands of hives,” he said. “In a world where insects are some of the most important little creatures in pollinating and providing our food, this sort of damage on this monoculture is just not acceptable.”

Agriculture Victoria has collected samples of dead bees found near a hive at an almond orchard in the Sunraysia region which are being tested for a range of pesticides.

A spokeswoman for Agriculture Victoria said an estimated 277,000 beehives were moved to the Sunraysia region for the 2021 almond pollination season and having such high hive density comes with some biosecurity disease risk.

“As the matter is currently under investigation it is inappropriate to make further comment,” the spokeswoman said. “All complaints received by the department are taken seriously and investigated as appropriate and in accordance with departmental procedures.”

Maximum penalties for chemical misuse offences can be more than $72,000 for a corporation, or $36,000 in any other case

What’s happened in Sunraysia is a familiar story around the world.

In the United States, beekeepers who send their hives to the almond farms have seen their bees die in record numbers with The Guardian reporting 50 billion bees – more than seven times the world’s human population – wiped out in a few months during winter 2018-19.

Beekeepers attribute the high mortality rate to pesticide exposure, diseases from parasites and habitat loss, but environmentalists and organic beekeepers are concerned about the almond industry’s mechanisation of one of nature’s most delicate natural processes.

Australia’s $1.8 billion almond industry is booming driven by our thirst for almond milk and the growth in plant-based eating and non-dairy alternatives.

Almonds have grown from a harvest of 10,000 tonnes in 2003 to one of 120,000 tonnes last year, and Australia is the second biggest producer of the nuts in the world.

It’s increasingly much more lucrative for beekeepers to hire their hives out to pollinate almond orchards than it is to produce honey, with beekeepers receiving just under $150 a hive to put their bees on an almond farm.

However, beekeepers describe working with almond farms as a “David and Goliath” situation where the small beekeepers are powerless.

“These almond growers have multimillion dollars behind them and we are just the little guys trucking our bees, working 18 and 20-hour days during spring and summer just to ensure we’ve got healthy bees,” one

beekeeper says.

Another commercial beekeeper who lost an estimated $600,000 worth of bees in the bee kill, and also wants to remain anonymous because of the threat of legal repercussions, said he has no doubt the bees were killed by fungicide spraying.

However, the beekeeper says the risk of death is one that beekeepers who put their hives on almond farms have signed up for.

It’s like playing with fire,” he says. “If you’re a beekeeper and you hire your bees out basically we’re just gigolos that put the bees out there as if we employed hookers.”

The beekeeper says while it’s devastating for beekeepers to lose their bees, they know the risk.

“Our bees get put in there and the risk is death by insecticide and fungicide,” he said. “That’s just what we get paid for. When you sign up for a pollination contract like that, you’re not going into an organic farm right? So, we know there is risk involved and so you’re basically going to have to wear that.”

He wants people to think more carefully about the impact of almond farming on the bee population.

“I mean cow’s milk is bad because ‘hey you’ve got to kill a calf every year’ and that’s not fashionable anymore,” he says. “It’s one calf, or it’s millions of bees. What would you rather do? What life is worth more?”

The Almond Board of Australia is aware of the bee kill and of the beekeepers’ concerns, but chief executive Tim Jackson says it was a one-off.

“It’s an isolated incident,” he says. “If these incidents occur we encourage the beekeepers to report them because we want to make sure that everyone’s compliant and doing the right thing.”

Mr Jackson says it is still unclear whether the kill was a result of the actions of almond farmers or neighbouring farmers.

“There was something like 40 different beekeepers involved in supplying bees to this one particular farm, so it’s really important that those bees are protected because beehive health is important to the almond industry as it is to the beekeeper,” he says.

The Almond Board this year began a partnership with Bee Friendly Farming Australia establishing bee-friendly certification and bee-friendly practices such as planting native flora around orchards to increase biodiversity and recommending only spraying pesticides and fungicides at night when bees are in their hives.

Mr Jackson says he is not sure what the legal consequences are for the beekeepers or almond farmers if an adverse finding is made over the bee kill.

“The long-term ramifications if someone’s doing the wrong thing and the beekeepers aren’t confident, then he’s going to struggle to get bees, so there is a mutual benefit in people behaving correctly,” he says.

He’s also unsure whether any financial compensation is available to the beekeepers.

“The almond industry is pretty lucrative at pollination time for their industry, but at the same time, we understand the importance of making sure those bees go in and go out as healthy as they were,” he says.

22 December 2021: Macadamia farmer convicted and fined. Spray Drift

Macadamia farmer convicted and fined for pesticide misuse

https://www.miragenews.com/macadamia-farmer-convicted-and-fined-for-699303/

22 Dec 2021

The NSW Land and Environment Court has upheld the conviction and sentence imposed on the owner and operator of a macadamia farm in Brooklet in northern NSW, Mr William Moore, for using a pesticide in a manner that caused injury, following a prosecution by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

EPA Director Regulatory Operations Steve Orr said, the EPA had commenced the prosecution after a person driving a car on a public road was exposed to pesticide spray drift being used at Wingvale Farm.

“This person suffered injuries including headaches, nausea and restricted breathing,” Mr Orr said.

On appeal from an earlier decision of the Byron Bay Local Court, the Land and Environment Court found Mr Moore guilty of one charge of using the pesticide Diazinon in a manner that caused injury to a person.

Justice Pain found that as the spraying occurred as part of a commercial operation that a high standard of care was necessary. Justice Pain also found that there were reasonable precautions that should have been taken at Wingvale Farm, which included notifying neighbours prior to spraying and only spraying in suitable weather conditions.

The Land and Environment Court upheld the sentence imposed against Mr Moore in the earlier Local Court proceedings, requiring him to pay a fine and the EPA’s legal and investigation costs totalling almost $15,000. Mr Moore was also ordered to pay the EPA’s legal costs of the appeal itself.

Mr Orr said the Court’s decision sent a strong message to all pesticide users to consider the safety of the local community and the environment.

“It is important that anyone who uses pesticides, particularly in or near residential areas, uses them correctly and safely.

“Safe pesticide use relies on users spraying in appropriate weather conditions, following the label instructions and considering the health impacts when applying pesticide.”

2018/19: Reedy Lake (Victoria). Pesticides: Simazine, Atrazine, pp-DDE

Bellarine Peninsula: Legacy and emergency contaminant sampling and analysis (2018-2019)

EPA Victoria Publication 1870 May 2020

Site: Reedy Lake

Water – June 2019: Simazine 0.12ug/L

Water – June 2018: Atrazine (trace)

Sediment – June 2018: pp-DDE (trace)

2019 June: Lower Barwon River (Victoria). Pesticide: Simazine

Bellarine Peninsula: Legacy and emergency contaminant sampling and analysis (2018-2019)

EPA Victoria Publication 1870 May 2020

Site: Lower Barwon River

Water – June 2019: Simazine 0.22ug/L

2018 April. Cowies Creek (Geelong). Pesticide: Simazine

Bellarine Peninsula: Legacy and emergency contaminant sampling and analysis (2018-2019)

EPA Victoria Publication 1870 May 2020

Site: Cowies Creek

Water – April 2018: Simazine 0.11ug/L

June 2019: Barwon Water. Pesticides: Atrazine, Simazine, Dieldrin, pp-DDE

Bellarine Peninsula: Legacy and emergency contaminant sampling and analysis (2018-2019)

EPA Victoria Publication 1870 May 2020

Site: Upper Barwon River

Water – June 2019: Atrazine 0.13ug/L, Simazine 0.41ug/L

Sediment – June 2019: Dieldrin 0.072mg/kg (60ug/kgOC), pp-DDE 0.024mg/kg (20ug/kgOC)

Soil – June 2019: Dieldrin 0.04mg/kg

 

18/9/20: Tianjin Jinghai Huixan Industry and Trade. Breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Propargite

Tianjin Jinghai Huixan Industry and Trade (China) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Cyhalothrin, Difenconazole

18/9/20: Dried red dates – Linhai Monhong (China) – Pesticide: Propargite 0.06mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

14/8/20: Linhai Monhong (China). Breaching Australian MRLs. Pesticides: Cyhalothrin, Difenconazole

Linhai Monhong (China) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Cyhalothrin, Difenconazole

14/8/20: Chinese Donghui bayberry (Myrica rubra) – Linhai Monhong (China) – Pesticide: Cyhalothrin 0.12mg/kg

14/8/20: Chinese Donghui bayberry (Myrica rubra) – Linhai Monhong (China) – Pesticide: Difenconazole 0.08mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

7/8/20: Hong Kong Top Gold International Trading Co Ltd. Breached Australian MRL; Pesticide: Carbendazim

Hong Kong Top Gold International Trading Co Ltd (China) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Carbendazim

7/8/20: Hawthorn (dried) – Hong Kong Top Gold International Trading Co Ltd (China) – Pesticide: Carbendazim 0.14mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

31/7/20: T&A VN Import Export Company Limited (Vietnam). Breaching Australian MRLs. Pesticides: Chlorpyrifos, Cypermethrin, Difenconazole, Permethrin

T&A VN Import Export Company Limited (Vietnam) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for Chlorpyrifos, Cypermethrin, Difenconazole, Permethrin

31/7/20: Lychee Fruit Fresh – T&A VN Import Export Company Limited (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos 0.02mg/kg

31/7/20: Lychee Fruit Fresh – T&A VN Import Export Company Limited (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Cypermethrin 0.055mg/kg

31/7/20: Lychee Fruit Fresh – T&A VN Import Export Company Limited (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Difenconazole 0.08mg/kg

31/7/20: Lychee Fruit Fresh – T&A VN Import Export Company Limited (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Permethrin 0.7mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

31/7/20: Rutu Agro Food Cold Storage (India). Breaching Australian MRL’s. Pesticides: Acephate, Carbendazim, Chlorpyrifos

Rutu Agro Food Cold Storage (India) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Acephate, Carbendazim, Chlorpyrifos

31/7/20: Chopped spinach, palak – Rutu Agro Food Cold Storage (India) – Pesticide: Acephate 0.07mg/kg

31/7/20: Chopped spinach, palak – Rutu Agro Food Cold Storage (India) – Pesticide: Carbendazim 0.47mg/kg

31/7/20: Chopped spinach, palak – Rutu Agro Food Cold Storage (India) – Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos 0.24mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

24/7/20: Dujardin Food (Belgium). Breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Cyhalothrin

Dujardin Food (Belgium) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Cyhalothrin

24/7/20: Herb, mint – Dujardin Food (Belgium) – Pesticide: Cyhalothrin 0.02mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

17/7/20: Consolidated Business Systems (Sri Lanka). Breached Australian MRL. Pesticide: Carbendazim

Consolidated Business Systems (Sri Lanka) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Carbendazim

17/7/20: Dambala (wing beans) frozen – Consolidated Business Systems (Sri Lanka) – Pesticide: Carbendazim 0.52mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

9/7/20: Dohler Neuenkirche N Gmbh (Germany). Breaching Australian MRL: Paclobutrazol

Dohler Neuenkirche N Gmbh (Germany) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Paclobutrazol

9/7/20: Blackberry juice concentrate organic- Dohler Neuenkirche N Gmbh (Germany) – Pesticide: Paclobutrazol 0.017mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

1/7/20: Parayil Food Products (India). Breaching Australian MRL’s: Pesticides: Acephate, Monocrotophos

Parayil Food Products (India) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Acephate, Monocrotophos

1/7/20: Frozen vegetable tindora- Parayil Food Products (India) – Pesticide: Acephate 0.174mg/kg

1/7/20: Frozen vegetable tindora- Parayil Food Products (India) – Pesticide: Monocrotophos 0.21mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

2020/21: Batra Enterprises (India). Breaches to Australian MRL’s. Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos

Batra Enterprises (India) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Chlorpyrifos

1/7/20: Door dal peas – Batra Enterprises (India) – Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos 0.013mg/kg

1/7/20: Moong dhuli (lentils) – Batra Enterprises (India) – Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos 0.121mg/kg

24/2/21: Green lentil – Batra Enterprises (India) – Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos 0.016mg/kg

5/3/21: Yellow lentils – Batra Enterprises (India) – Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos – Lines 17a, 17c and 17d. Detected. Not permitted in this food

7/6/21: Green gram split – Batra Enterprises (India) – Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos – 0.02mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

2020/21: Jining New Silk Road Co Ltd (China). Breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Carbendazim

Jining New Silk Road Food Co Ltd (China) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Carbendazim

15/6/20: Fresh Garlic Roots – Jining New Silk Road Food Co Ltd (China) – Pesticide: Carbendazim 0.1mg/kg

15/1/21: Fresh Garlic Roots – Jining New Silk Road Food Co Ltd (China) – Pesticide: Carbendazim 0.12mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

2020: Nam Hai Company Limited (Vietnam). Breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Hexaconazole, Difenconazole

Nam Hai Company Limited (Vietnam) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Hexaconazole

11/6/20: Frozen small red chillies – Nam Hai Company Limited (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Hexaconazole 0.051mg/kg

23/6/20: Frozen grated small red chillies – Nam Hai Company Limited (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Difenconazole 0.09mg/kg

14/8/20: Red chilli (frozen) – Nam Hai Company Limited (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Hexaconazole 0.07mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

13/5/20: Botou Huayang Jujube Industry Co Ltd (China). Breaching Australian MRL’s

Botou Huayang Jujube Industry Co Ltd (China) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Cyfluthrin, Cypermethrin, Difenconazole, Cyhalothrin

13/5/20: Chinese Dates – Botou Huayang Jujube Industry Co Ltd (China) – Pesticide: Cyfluthrin 0.22mg/kg

13/5/20: Chinese Dates – Botou Huayang Jujube Industry Co Ltd (China) – Pesticide: Cypermethrin 0.107mg/kg

13/5/20: Chinese Dates – Botou Huayang Jujube Industry Co Ltd (China) – Pesticide: Difenconazole 0.313mg/kg

13/5/20: Chinese Dates – Botou Huayang Jujube Industry Co Ltd (China) – Pesticide: Cyhalothrin 0.027mg/kg

13/5/20: Jujube Dates – Botou Huayang Jujube Industry Co Ltd (China) – Pesticide: Cypermethrin 0.313mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

13/5/20: Hong Kong Sing Hung Food Co (China). Breach to Australian MRL: Pesticide Carbendazim

Hong Kong Sing Hung Food Co (China) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Carbendazim

13/5/20: Dried Longan Pulp – Hong Kong Sing Hung Food Co (China) – Pesticide: Carbendazim 0.062mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

2021 August: Overwatch problems in South Australia. Pesticide: Bixlozone

Overwatch moves outside boundary: trial

3 Aug 2021

https://www.farmweekly.com.au/story/7359646/overwatch-moves-outside-boundary-trial/

AGRONOMISTS in South Australia have joined those in Western Australia who are dealing with frustrations from alleged off-target damage from new mode-of-action herbicide Overwatch, from FMC.

Earlier this month, Farm Weekly reported on claims from WA agronomists Wayne Smith and Frank Boetels that stated in most cases, there was no off-target damage from the product when it was dry, but after it rained, they started seeing off-target damage in all directions.

Those claims have now been backed up by independent agronomist Craig Davis, based in South Australia’s Mid North and Yorke Peninsula, who said he had seen movement outside paddock boundaries that didn’t match up with the direction of spray.

“We’ve got the predominant prevailing wind direction taking the original spray drift one way, but now we’ve got multiple cases where it’s moved in other directions outside of paddocks and accumulated on roadsides,” Mr Davis said.

“We have weather records and spray application data to rule out drift or inversion and while you can notice the majority of the product went where you would expect, it’s gone far further and caused much larger areas of off-target movement than we ever anticipated.

“Both WA and South Australia have very professional operators with very good set-ups and weather monitoring – they are aware of the risk of off-target damage and have quickly become embarrassed by the fact that Overwatch is moving outside their paddock boundaries.”

With that in mind, Mr Davis went about conducting a canary pot trial to try to ascertain if Overwatch was volatile and had been moving in ways it shouldn’t.

He took lupins from an undamaged paddock, dug holes to clear out any chemical that might be in the ground and embedded pots to within an inch of the soil surface in a paddock both one day and three weeks after spraying with Overwatch.

“That meant any gas, if it was a gas, could potentially come into contact with those lupins and if there were symptoms that would give a strong indication that we have a product moving after application,” Mr Davis said.

“I monitored those plants and found that after one week there was no damage, but after two weeks both paddocks showed damage, meaning we picked up damage well after the application of the spray.

“It was certainly activated following rainfall, but it wasn’t a lot of rain – the soil was already quite wet, but it didn’t become waterlogged and in that trial it was only off a 10 millimetre rainfall event.”

FMC head of development Geoff Robertson said the company understood that different people had been undertaking their own research.

“We have not been involved with the methods they have been using, but we are aware that some potted lupins have demonstrated transient bleaching and some potted lupins have shown no transient bleaching,” Mr Robertson said.

“FMC has been involved with scientific trials that were reviewed by the APVMA (Australian Pesticides And Veterinary Medicines Authority) – our results demonstrated that low-level volatility from treated soil is possible and it is therefore plausible that a sensitive plant such as lupins placed within an Overwatch treated paddock may show symptoms of transient bleaching.

“However, the available data indicates the amount of volatilisation causing such bleaching is very low and would be confined to a relatively short distance away from the application site.”

In June, Farm Weekly reported that a farmer from Bolgart had a lupin paddock which had suffered from alleged off-target drift and the bleaching effect had been undeniable.

FMC had always maintained that crops would recover from the bleaching and that has been exactly what the farmer from Bolgart has seen happen.

“The lupins are now all starting to flower and you can’t see any real difference to the ones that weren’t affected,” the farmer said.

“We checked all our records on spray dates for this paddock and we are thinking that the damage was caused by movement of droplets from the top of the hill down to the lower part of the paddock.

“That was likely due to spraying the paddock next door late in the afternoon with very low wind speed, warm temperatures and possible spray inversion.”

Mr Robertson said FMC appreciated the before and after comparison by the grower of the transient bleaching of the lupin crop and had been in contact with him.

“The recovery from spray drift is consistent with what has been seen in the recovery of many other cases where spray drift has occurred,” he said.

“Of the approximately 1.2 million hectares to which Overwatch was applied this year in Australia, we are aware of less than one per cent that are showing signs of off-target crop bleaching.

“As is the case with this grower, ongoing monitoring by FMC is observing strong recovery from transient bleaching in the overwhelming majority of cases.”

However it’s not just the off-target damage that is causing concern, with excessive levels of bleaching on crops that were sprayed with Overwatch as per the label instructions.

Mr Davis said he had recorded more than 60 paddocks, predominantly barley, with heightened levels of crop damage, above what was seen in trials.

While those crops, along with crops hit by off-target damage, are recovering, he said there were areas within them that were still severely affected with reduced growth, leaf area and tillering.

In some cases, paddocks in lighter soils had to be sown again.

“I’m hypothesising that lighter and loamier soils that contain more lime or bicarbonates are more prone to this occurring, whereas in other jurisdictions and States where their soil types are heavier with more organic matter, that is it not happening as readily,” Mr Davis said.

“If we do find that Overwatch is volatile, my concern is that the volatility is also part of the contributor to barley being so sensitive.

“If it is volatility that is causing off-target movement – and I do maintain we still need to prove how that is happening – and barley is sensitive to it being applied to the leaf, then that volatility could be a major factor for why we’re seeing such large scale damage to barley crops.”

Mr Roberts said some key cropping regions of WA had experienced an exceptional, historically wet season characterised by waterlogging and prolonged wet, overcast conditions, while in South Australia the majority of crops went in dry followed by large rain events and strong winds in some areas.

“Under these circumstances not only Overwatch, but also other commonly used pre-emergent products, exhibited more crop effects than what had been encountered in the preceding seasons,” he said.

“We could not have anticipated that based on the meteorological data and forecasts that were available to us.

“FMC will take the data that this experience has given us into account in our future research and development program.”

Like most growers around the country, Mr Davis wants to keep using Overwatch and knows how important it is for rotational purposes, however he does want answers as to why the product is allegedly moving so drastically off-target.

“I do accept that this product has very good merits – it’s a great active ingredient, it controls target weeds quite well and it is relatively safe on a number of crops including wheat and canola,” Mr Davis said.

“There are farmers and advisers out there, like myself who love this product and want to keep it as we need it for resistance management, but that cannot happen at all cost.

“As long as we can work out how to use it safely and minimise its potential for crop damage and off-target movement, I’d be happy to maintain using it.”

2021 August/September: Overwatch moves outside boundary: Pesticide: Bixlozone

‘Critical mass’ of farmers sought for Overwatch class action

6 September 2021 (graincentral.com)

GROWERS who allege they have suffered barley yield losses through unintended consequences caused by the use of the herbicide Overwatch are being invited to take part in a class action.

Proposed by Sydney-based law firm Levitt Robertson, the action seeks to represent affected growers in Western Australian, Victorian and South Australia and possibly New South Wales.

Through the Class PR website, the firm alleges Overwatch has bleached some barley crops, some of which will not recover their full yield potential.

Manufactured by chemical company FMC, Overwatch is a pre-emergent herbicide marketed as being suitable to control weeds including annual ryegrass in southern Australia’s three biggest winter crops: barley, canola and wheat.

“Although Overwatch worked brilliantly with some crops, it was FMC’s failure to steward the administration of the product and have farmers adjust their sowing systems by using a deeper planting method, which led to crop damage,” the website alleges.

The website states that FMC recommended the same application rate for barley as for wheat and canola, and agronomists advising growers were not provided with “crucial product information by FMC” which could have prevented the alleged damage.

Levitt Robinson is putting out the feelers to see if a “critical mass” of farming participants can be found in order to make the running of a class action feasible.

It is holding a series of webinars over coming weeks to inform growers about the process involved so they can decide whether or not to join the action.

It said interested growers needed to register as soon as possible.

Levitt Robinson successes in class actions include one on behalf of Storm Financial investors and franchisees of 7-Eleven.

Levitt Robinson special counsel Brett Imlay said the firm was looking into a class action on behalf of growers following an approach several weeks ago from  a party in the Victorian Wimmera.

FMC response

FMC has issued the following holding statement in response to the proposed legal action:

FMC confirms that it is aware that a law firm has called on growers who are concerned about lingering crop effects following the use of Overwatch Herbicide in barley to work with the firm, though no action has been filed.

FMC is currently investigating reports relating to enhanced bleaching in crops where Overwatch Herbicide has been used on a case-by-case basis, as much as COVID-19 travel guidelines allow. The incidence of enhanced bleaching is currently estimated at one percent or less of the total crop area treated with Overwatch Herbicide in Australia this year.

FMC takes its stewardship role very seriously and has a long-standing reputation for working closely with growers to ensure safe and responsible use of its products. FMC will continue to monitor the situation and work with concerned growers and industry partners to support Overwatch® users as required for each case.

Maiden year

Overwatch was released to the Australian market this year following approval by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

FMC’s Overwatch Herbicide website states its active ingredient Bixlozone, trademarked Isoflex active, is a Group Q molecule, which makes it a unique weed control option in the Australian broadacre market.

FMC Corporation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and develops and produces herbicides, fungicides and pesticides for the global agricultural and horticultural chemical market.

Sources: Class PR, FMC, Levitt Robinson

 

Overwatch moves outside boundary: trial

3 Aug 2021

https://www.farmweekly.com.au/story/7359646/overwatch-moves-outside-boundary-trial/

AGRONOMISTS in South Australia have joined those in Western Australia who are dealing with frustrations from alleged off-target damage from new mode-of-action herbicide Overwatch, from FMC.

Earlier this month, Farm Weekly reported on claims from WA agronomists Wayne Smith and Frank Boetels that stated in most cases, there was no off-target damage from the product when it was dry, but after it rained, they started seeing off-target damage in all directions.

Those claims have now been backed up by independent agronomist Craig Davis, based in South Australia’s Mid North and Yorke Peninsula, who said he had seen movement outside paddock boundaries that didn’t match up with the direction of spray.

“We’ve got the predominant prevailing wind direction taking the original spray drift one way, but now we’ve got multiple cases where it’s moved in other directions outside of paddocks and accumulated on roadsides,” Mr Davis said.

“We have weather records and spray application data to rule out drift or inversion and while you can notice the majority of the product went where you would expect, it’s gone far further and caused much larger areas of off-target movement than we ever anticipated.

“Both WA and South Australia have very professional operators with very good set-ups and weather monitoring – they are aware of the risk of off-target damage and have quickly become embarrassed by the fact that Overwatch is moving outside their paddock boundaries.”

With that in mind, Mr Davis went about conducting a canary pot trial to try to ascertain if Overwatch was volatile and had been moving in ways it shouldn’t.

He took lupins from an undamaged paddock, dug holes to clear out any chemical that might be in the ground and embedded pots to within an inch of the soil surface in a paddock both one day and three weeks after spraying with Overwatch.

“That meant any gas, if it was a gas, could potentially come into contact with those lupins and if there were symptoms that would give a strong indication that we have a product moving after application,” Mr Davis said.

“I monitored those plants and found that after one week there was no damage, but after two weeks both paddocks showed damage, meaning we picked up damage well after the application of the spray.

“It was certainly activated following rainfall, but it wasn’t a lot of rain – the soil was already quite wet, but it didn’t become waterlogged and in that trial it was only off a 10 millimetre rainfall event.”

FMC head of development Geoff Robertson said the company understood that different people had been undertaking their own research.

“We have not been involved with the methods they have been using, but we are aware that some potted lupins have demonstrated transient bleaching and some potted lupins have shown no transient bleaching,” Mr Robertson said.

“FMC has been involved with scientific trials that were reviewed by the APVMA (Australian Pesticides And Veterinary Medicines Authority) – our results demonstrated that low-level volatility from treated soil is possible and it is therefore plausible that a sensitive plant such as lupins placed within an Overwatch treated paddock may show symptoms of transient bleaching.

“However, the available data indicates the amount of volatilisation causing such bleaching is very low and would be confined to a relatively short distance away from the application site.”

In June, Farm Weekly reported that a farmer from Bolgart had a lupin paddock which had suffered from alleged off-target drift and the bleaching effect had been undeniable.

FMC had always maintained that crops would recover from the bleaching and that has been exactly what the farmer from Bolgart has seen happen.

“The lupins are now all starting to flower and you can’t see any real difference to the ones that weren’t affected,” the farmer said.

“We checked all our records on spray dates for this paddock and we are thinking that the damage was caused by movement of droplets from the top of the hill down to the lower part of the paddock.

“That was likely due to spraying the paddock next door late in the afternoon with very low wind speed, warm temperatures and possible spray inversion.”

Mr Robertson said FMC appreciated the before and after comparison by the grower of the transient bleaching of the lupin crop and had been in contact with him.

“The recovery from spray drift is consistent with what has been seen in the recovery of many other cases where spray drift has occurred,” he said.

“Of the approximately 1.2 million hectares to which Overwatch was applied this year in Australia, we are aware of less than one per cent that are showing signs of off-target crop bleaching.

“As is the case with this grower, ongoing monitoring by FMC is observing strong recovery from transient bleaching in the overwhelming majority of cases.”

However it’s not just the off-target damage that is causing concern, with excessive levels of bleaching on crops that were sprayed with Overwatch as per the label instructions.

Mr Davis said he had recorded more than 60 paddocks, predominantly barley, with heightened levels of crop damage, above what was seen in trials.

While those crops, along with crops hit by off-target damage, are recovering, he said there were areas within them that were still severely affected with reduced growth, leaf area and tillering.

In some cases, paddocks in lighter soils had to be sown again.

“I’m hypothesising that lighter and loamier soils that contain more lime or bicarbonates are more prone to this occurring, whereas in other jurisdictions and States where their soil types are heavier with more organic matter, that is it not happening as readily,” Mr Davis said.

“If we do find that Overwatch is volatile, my concern is that the volatility is also part of the contributor to barley being so sensitive.

“If it is volatility that is causing off-target movement – and I do maintain we still need to prove how that is happening – and barley is sensitive to it being applied to the leaf, then that volatility could be a major factor for why we’re seeing such large scale damage to barley crops.”

Mr Roberts said some key cropping regions of WA had experienced an exceptional, historically wet season characterised by waterlogging and prolonged wet, overcast conditions, while in South Australia the majority of crops went in dry followed by large rain events and strong winds in some areas.

“Under these circumstances not only Overwatch, but also other commonly used pre-emergent products, exhibited more crop effects than what had been encountered in the preceding seasons,” he said.

“We could not have anticipated that based on the meteorological data and forecasts that were available to us.

“FMC will take the data that this experience has given us into account in our future research and development program.”

Like most growers around the country, Mr Davis wants to keep using Overwatch and knows how important it is for rotational purposes, however he does want answers as to why the product is allegedly moving so drastically off-target.

“I do accept that this product has very good merits – it’s a great active ingredient, it controls target weeds quite well and it is relatively safe on a number of crops including wheat and canola,” Mr Davis said.

“There are farmers and advisers out there, like myself who love this product and want to keep it as we need it for resistance management, but that cannot happen at all cost.

“As long as we can work out how to use it safely and minimise its potential for crop damage and off-target movement, I’d be happy to maintain using it.”

9/7/21: Moisture blamed on Overwatch volatility. Pesticide: Bixlozone

Moisture blamed for Overwatch volatility

9 July 2021

https://www.farmweekly.com.au/story/7328460/moisture-blamed-for-overwatch-volatility/

AGRONOMISTS around Western Australia are claiming that FMC’s new herbicide Overwatch is made volatile by moisture, which is what they allege has been causing excessive levels of bleaching in crops treated with the product and off-target damage in nearby paddocks.

From the outset, FMC noted there was likely to be some level of crop bleaching with the Group Q product, which was released to much hype as a new mode-of-action to combat ryegrass, but farmers and agronomists are worried the affects have been more severe than they anticipated.

Agronomic Acumen agronomist Wayne Smith, based in Albany, said he had seen that Overwatch could sit in dry soil for a month or two and nothing happened, but when it rained, that change.

“As soon as it rains, the product starts rising through the soil, moving in all different directions and causing bleaching to off-target plants,” Mr Smith said.

“It’s definitely the rain that activates it – in most cases, there is no off-target damage when it is dry, but a week after it rains, we start seeing off-target damage in all directions.

“If you spray a crop and see no effect for two months, then it rains and all of a sudden you start getting damage, you can’t attribute that to spray drift, spraying from inversion, or mixing chemicals with it, as FMC has claimed.”

FMC head of development Geoff Robertson said volatilisation referred to the movement of herbicide vapours through the air following a herbicide application.

“The potential volatilisation of bixlozone, the active ingredient, applied to soil has been tested by FMC under both field conditions and controlled conditions in a wind tunnel and these investigations demonstrated that the amount of volatilisation was very low,” Mr Robertson said.

“Bixlozone is expected to degrade rapidly in air, with a half-life of about six hours and this data indicates that volatility is unlikely to be a significant source of off-target movement of bixlozone.

“Based on available information and data, any off-target movement of Overwatch, which may be incorrectly perceived as volatility, is most likely related to spray drift which is supported by the many other instances where Overwatch has been applied alongside sensitive crops with no off-target bleaching recorded.”

According to Mr Smith, it appears the vapour from the product is coming up through the soil, which could happen on the same day, a week later, or even a month later.

“I have a client on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, who sprayed dry in mid-March and then got a phone call in mid-May, after rain, telling him that he had damaged plants all down the highway,” Mr Smith said.

“He hadn’t sprayed for two months and is the only cropping guy around, so he sprayed dry, seeded and covered it up with soil, then it rained two months later and the damage began.

“That’s all the evidence you need that it simply can’t be spray drift – Overwatch is volatile and is moving later on when it’s wet.”

Mr Smith said there was no other product he had ever seen in farming that acted the way Overwatch appeared to.

“With it only happening with moisture, to me that indicates that there has been a chemical reaction and that is what is releasing, rather than the chemical itself,” he said.

“This is the worst product we’ve ever seen for vapourising and we’re seeing vapourising still happening six weeks from when the rain or wet soil activated the product.”

Independent agronomist Frank Boetel, based in Katanning, said the worst bleaching was in paddocks that had been directly sprayed, with barley more susceptible than wheat and canola.

“We’re getting unacceptable damage to barley crops,” Mr Boetels said.

“Wheat is more tolerant to it, which is what we had already seen in trials, but as soon as it gets wet, that’s when it really takes off and we’re seeing substantial damage in barley crops that have been sprayed.

“The others hardest hit seem to be oats, lupins and serradella which are all more vulnerable to the off-target drift.”

Both Mr Smith and Mr Boetel, along with hundreds of agronomists and farmers around the country, have made reports on the damage caused by Overwatch both to FMC and to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

According to FMC, the number of reports of off-target crop bleaching remains relatively low considering the area treated with Overwatch this year.

FMC has now received between 65 and 70 reported cases in WA and a total of nine reports in the Eastern States.

Mr Robertson said ongoing monitoring was showing promising recovery of lupin crops from transient bleaching effects.

“Many of the earlier sown crops have already recovered from in-crop transient bleaching,” Mr Robertson said.

“There are still a few areas where FMC are yet to observe crop recovery from transient bleaching, especially in areas where it has been excessively wet or when a combination of factors have led to elevated in-crop crop bleaching.

“Those areas continue to be monitored but, importantly, it is still some weeks before FMC would expect that the transient bleaching effects would have entirely resolved in all crops.”

An APVMA spokeswoman said they were aware of reports of crop damage in WA and Victoria and they were working with FMC to understand the nature of these incidents.

“The APVMA is working with the registrant to determine the nature and number of adverse experiences related to the use of Overwatch Herbicide and will assess any adverse experience reports it receives in relation to this matter,” the spokeswoman said.

“The product label describes how Overwatch herbicide should be used, including how and under what conditions it should be applied and specifies mandatory downwind buffer zones to minimise the risks associated with spray drift.

“The APVMA encourages users to report adverse experiences associated with agvet chemicals.”

Mr Boetels said the product seemed to be “doing more harm than good” in very wet conditions.

“That’s clearly evident in the amount of damage that has been reported not just in WA but over east as well, as they’re are more cases coming up over there,” Mr Boetels said.

“Looking at the damage to one of my clients in east Katanning, we think yield wise about 50 per cent of the lupins and 35pc of the barley have been impacted based on the water use efficiency model.

“He paid $70,000 for the chemical, but we think there will be a loss of about $500,000 to $700,000 in revenue from damage to crops.”

While the side-effects of using Overwatch are not ideal, Mr Smith said most farmers and agronomists don’t want to stop using the product as it was such a valuable tool, but they will be more cautious and want to know what is making it volatile.

“The weed control is just fantastic, so we’ll just use a lower rate going forward,” he said.

“Wheat and canola are fine, they get a bit white for sure, but they seem pretty tolerant to it, however we probably won’t use it too much on barley for a while and we’ve got to be careful if lupins or anything else susceptible is around, particularly down slope.

“It doesn’t mean we stop using it altogether – you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water as it’s a great product, but it’s just behaving in a way we’re not used to and we’d like to know what’s causing it.”

Mr Robertson said FMC’s ongoing monitoring was showing promising recovery of crops from off-target transient bleaching effects.

“Our team remains committed to answering any questions our customers may have and provide technical support via our qualified agronomy team,” he said.

11/5/20: Wonderful Citrus (United States). Breaching Australian MRL. Pesticide: Tebuconazole

Wonderful Citrus (United States)  – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Tebuconazole

11/5/20: Frozen oranges – Wonderful Citrus (United States) – Pesticide: Tebuconazole 0.24mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

2020: Guangzhou Linqi Trading Co Ltd (China). Breaching Australias MRL’s. Pesticides: Procymidone, Thiamethoxam, Cyhalothrin

Guangzhou Linqi Trading Co Ltd (China) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Procymidone

5/5/20: Fresh Sugar Snap Peas – Guangzhou Linqi Trading Co Ltd (China) – Pesticide: Procymidone 0.026mg/kg

5/5/20: Fresh Sugar Snap Peas – Guangzhou Linqi Trading Co Ltd (China) – Pesticide: Thiamethoxam 0.015mg/kg

24/6/20: Fresh Onion Flowers – Guangzhou Linqi Trading Co Ltd (China) – Pesticide: Cyhalothrin 0.1mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

1/5/20: Khajanchi Exports (Mumbai India). Food breaching Australian MRL for Carbendazim

Khajanchi Exports (Mumbai India)  – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Carbendazim

1/5/20: Brown Sultanas – Khajanchi Exports (Mumbai India) – Pesticide: Carbendazim 0.94mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

2020: Pacific Coast Fruit Products (Canada). Breaching Australian MRLs for Carbendazim, Fipronil

Pacific Coast Fruit Products (Canada) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Carbendazim, Fipronil

30/4/20: Strawberry Puree Concentrate – Pacific Coast Fruit Products (Canada) – Pesticide: Carbendazim 0.29mg/kg

14/12/20: Raspberry Juice Concentrate – Pacific Coast Fruit Products (Canada) – Pesticide: Fipronil 0.1mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

24/4/20: Svt International. Breaching Australian MRL’s: Pesticide: Carbendazim

Svt International – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Carbendazim

24/4/20: Frozen Strawberries – Svt International  (Poland) – Pesticide: Carbendazim 0.1mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

3/4/20: Colombia Bean and Produce Co Inc – Breaching Australian MRL’s: Pesticides: Acephate, Methamidophos

Colombia Bean and Produce Co Inc* – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Acephate, Methamidophos [*AQIS state that this product was from Colombia, which appears to be incorrect. Country of origin appears to be United States]

3/4/20: Black Eyed Beans – Colombian Bean and Produce Co Inc  (Colombia) – Pesticide: Acephate 0.26mg/kg

3/4/20: Black Eyed Beans – Colombian Bean and Produce Co Inc  (Colombia) – Pesticide: Methamidophos 0.079mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

1/4/20: D & T Green Food Co Ltd (Vietnam). Frozen Red Chillies Breaching Australian MRL’s. Pesticides: Difenconazole, Hexaconazole

D & T Green Food Co Ltd (Vietnam) – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Difenconazole, Hexaconazole

1/4/20: Frozen Red Chillies – D & T Green Food Co Ltd  (Vietnam) – Pesticide: Difenconazole 0.09mg/kg, Hexaconazole 0.07mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

30/3/20: Nature’s Touch Frozen Food Inc, Food Breaching Australian MRL’s. Pesticide: Taufluvalinate

Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods Inc – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Taufluvalinate

30/3/20: Frozen Mixed Fruit – Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods Inc  (Canada) – Pesticide: Taufluvalinate 0.11mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

17/3/20: Colombo Commodities (Sri Lanka). Breaching Australian MRL’s for Chana Dahl. Pesticide: Pirimiphos Methyl

Colombo Commodities – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Pirimiphos Methyl

17/3/20: Chana Dahl – Colombo Commodities  (Sri Lanka) – Pesticide: Pirimiphos Methyl 0.16mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

6/3/20: Reanthong Agro Product Limited Partnership (Thailand) Australian MRL Breach. Pesticide: Carbendazim

Reanthong Agro Product Limited Partnership Exported – Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Carbendazim

6/3/20: Dried Longan Meat – Reanthong Agro Product Partnership (Thailand) – Pesticide: Carbendazim 0.13mg/kg

Source Failing Food Report – Australian Department of Agriculture (AQIS)

2020/21: Ratin Khosh Co (Iran). Breached Australian MRL for Dried Strawberries and Raisans. Pesticide: Carbendazim

Ratin Khosh Co (Iran) –  Exported Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Carbendazim

4/3/20: Dried Strawberries – Ratin Khosh Co (Iran) – Carbendazim 0.12mg/kg

16/3/21: Raisans – Ratin Khosh Co (Iran) – Carbendazim 0.78mg/kg

Source: AQIS Failing Food Surveys. Department of Agriculture Australia

28/4/21: Two Wells (South Australia). Spray Drift

Fears for kids’ health as chemical overspray hits homes

28/4/21: The Advertiser

Residents in the rural belt north of Adelaide (Two Wells) fear for their children’s health as chemicals from commercial farming outfits waft into residential properties.

25/3/20: United Co. For Food Industry (Sae). Breaching Australian MRL for Frozen Okra. Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos

United Co. For Food Industry (Sae) –  Exported Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Chlorpyrifos

25/3/20: Frozen Okra – United Co. For Food Industry (Egypt) – Chlorpyrifos 0.02mg/kg

Source: AQIS Failing Food Surveys. Department of Agriculture Australia

2/3/20: Ceres Fruit Juices Ltd (South Africa). Breaching Australian MRLs. Pesticide: Thiabendazole

Ceres Fruit Juices Ltd (South Africa) –  Exported Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Thiabendazole

2/3/20: Dried Alberta peaches halves – Ceres Fruit Juices Ltd (South Africa) – Thiabendazole 0.046mg/kg

Source: AQIS Failing Food Surveys. Department of Agriculture Australia

2020: Kirsten Company Llc. Export Breaches Australian MRL’s. Pesticide: Acephate, Chlorpyrifos

Kirsten Company Llc –  Exported Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Acephate

17/2/20: Black Eye Bean Seeds – Kirsten Company Llc – Acephate 0.39mg/kg

27/4/20: Black Eye Bean Seeds – Kirsten Company Llc – Chlorpyrifos 0.05mg/kg

10/7/20: Black Eye Bean Seeds – Kirsten Company Llc – Chlorpyrifos 0.12mg/kg

Source: AQIS Failing Food Surveys. Department of Agriculture Australia

31/1/20: Doehler Juice Solutions (USA). Breach to Australian MRL’s. Pesticide: Captan

Doehler Juice Solutions –  Exported Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Carbendazim, Metalaxyl

31/1/20: Raspberry Juice Concentrate – Doehler Juice Solutions – Captan 33.7mg/kg

Source: AQIS Failing Food Surveys. Department of Agriculture Australia

2020/21: Thangapandi International (India). Pesticide MRL breaches: Carbendazim, Metalaxyl, Chlorpyrifos, Fipronil, Cypermethrin, Profenofos

Thangapandi International –  Exported Food breaching Australian MRL’s for: Carbendazim, Metalaxyl

15/1/20: Fresh Betel Leaves – Thanganpandi International – Carbendazim 0.065mg/kg

15/1/20: Fresh Betel Leaves – Thanganpandi International – Metalaxyl 0.92mg/kg

17/2/21: Fresh Betel Leaves – Thanganpandi International – Carbendazim. Detected, not permitted in this food.

17/2/21: Fresh Betel Leaves – Thanganpandi International – Chlorpyrifos. Detected, not permitted in this food.

17/2/21: Fresh Betel Leaves – Thanganpandi International – Fipronil. Detected, not permitted in this food.

17/2/21: Fresh Betel Leaves – Thanganpandi International – Cypermethrin. 0.2891mg/kg.

17/2/21: Fresh Betel Leaves – Thanganpandi International – Profenofos. 0.4844mg/kg.

Source: AQIS Failing Food Surveys. Department of Agriculture Australia

2021 August: Spray Drift Investigations. Julia Creek (Queensland)

Biosecurity Queensland investigating two spray drift complaints in new outback cropping area

25 August 2021

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-25/biosecurity-queensland-investigating-north-west-qld-spray-drift/100402442

Biosecurity Queensland has confirmed it has launched criminal investigations into two chemical spray drift complaints in one of the state’s newest cropping areas.

The Flinders River catchment in the north-west has been touted as one of the country’s new frontiers for cotton growing, with New South Wales-based irrigators making significant investments in the past two years.

But some recent incidents of chemical spray drift have put the area’s already established cattle industry on edge.

Third-generation Julia Creek cattle-producer Ryan Hacon said he had not been directly impacted by the problem, but it had been going on in the district for the past two years.

“It’s something we haven’t had to deal with before and it is a fairly large concern,” he said.

“We’ve got a really good area — everyone knows each other, everyone’s friendly.

Mr Hacon said he had flown over areas where trees and pasture had been damaged by herbicides drifting across boundary fences.

“[It has damaged] mainly white woods and cork woods and trees like that,” he said.

“It also damages pastures, especially all the broad-leaf herbages we get after the wet that really put the weight on our cattle.”

‘Criminal investigation’

Two separate incidents relating to one property in the area are now being investigated by Biosecurity Queensland.

Spray drift specialist Mary O’Brien said investigations like this could be “long and involved”.

“The biosecurity investigations are actually a criminal investigation,” Ms O’Brien said.

“They’ll be looking for records, they’ll be looking for weather conditions, the equipment that was used and if the product was used at the right rate.”

Ms O’Brien said while there were legal implications with spray drift, it could be mitigated using other methods.

“I believe education and information is a much better path to go down,” she said.

“But they are certainly within their rights to contact Biosecurity Queensland, and the faster they do that the more evidence they can collect in their investigation.”

Development on the horizon

Mr Hacon said many landholders in the area were determined to fix the spray drift issues before the industry develops more.

“There’s definitely a few people that are quite negative about [cropping] now,” he said.

More cropping development has been forecast in north-west Queensland, with the state government announcing a 145,000-megalitre release of water from the Flinders River and at least two dam projects hoping to attract government funding.

Mr Hacon said he would like to see more enforcement of regulations if the industry is going to develop further.

“There needs to be some sort of policing or structure if there are issues with drift,” he said.

2020/22: Court penalty over Torquay pesticide incident. Chemical: Metham Sodium

Court penalty over Torquay pesticide incident

April 12 2022

https://www.miragenews.com/court-penalty-over-torquay-pesticide-incident-762824/

Torquay commercial flower grower I, C & J Santospirito Pty Ltd has been fined $70,000 without conviction over a 2020 pesticide incident that left nearby residents suffering vision impairment, sore throats, breathing difficulties, headaches, nausea and vomiting.

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) laid two pollution charges against the company after the incident on 17 June 2020, which involved a chemical called Metham Sodium being used on agricultural land at 200 Coombes Road, Torquay.

EPA investigators working with Surf Coast Shire Council and other agencies found the chemical was being used to prepare ground for a new crop, but had been incorrectly applied and reacted with moist soil to produce methyl isothiocyanate (MITC), which is a hazardous gas.

Wind drift took the gas into the nearby Ocean Acres and Frog Hollow residential estates, three people were taken to hospital by ambulance and a fourth transported himself to hospital.

Volunteer crews of the Torquay CFA Brigade and a CFA HAZMAT unit from Lara responded to the incident, and the council received 53 reports of a chemical gas odour from residents over two days.

Metham Sodium is listed as a Schedule 6 poison, with a dangerous goods classification DG 8, corrosive. The official Metham Sodium safety datasheet says MITC is volatile and causes severe skin burns and eye damage.

The company pleaded guilty to two EPA charges under the Environment Protection Act 1970:

• Polluting the atmosphere so that the condition of the atmosphere is so changed as to make or be reasonably expected to make the atmosphere, noxious or poisonous or offensive to the senses of human beings, and

• Polluting the atmosphere so that the condition of the atmosphere is so changed as to make or be reasonably expected to make the atmosphere, harmful or potentially harmful to the health, welfare, safety or property of human beings.

Magistrate Simon Guthrie said the penalty took into account the company’s early plea of guilty, its cooperation with the investigation at all times, its prior good record, and what appeared to be genuine remorse and attention to the impact on the community.

The court also ordered the company to pay EPA’s legal costs of $7,582.40 and publicise the offending in local newspapers.

EPA lays charges over Torquay chemical incident

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has laid a total of three charges against Torquay company I, C & J Santospirito Pty Ltd. (Santospirito) under the Environment Protection Act 1970.

The charges follow a multi-agency investigation, which included assistance from Surfcoast Shire Council, into an alleged chemical incident at 200 Coombes Rd, Torquay.

EPA alleges that Santospirito improperly used a fumigant resulting in the production of methyl isothiocyanate (MITC). MITC affects the eyes and respiratory tract. Several nearby residents reported breathing difficulties as well as stinging and watering eyes.

As the matter is now before the courts EPA will be making no further comment.

 

2015 November: Helicopter crash, Whyanbeel Road, Whyanbeel, Qld

Pilot injured but group make lucky escape in Mossman chopper crash

Emergency services crews near the site of a helicopter crash near Mossman. PICTURE: SHANE

Emergency services crews near the site of a helicopter crash near Mossman. PICTURE: SHANE NICHOLS

FOUR men are lucky to be alive after a helicopter surveying weeds near Mossman “fell out of the sky” and crashed into a creek bed yesterday.

The pilot of the GBR Helicopters chopper was being assessed for spinal injuries last night while the other three occupants walked away virtually unharmed.

The crash happened on a 50ha property on Whyanbeel Rd, near the location of a similar helicopter crash just over four years ago.

Four escape FNQ chopper crash

The wreck of a helicopter that crashed near Mossman. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

Emergency services were forced to trek to the scene through dense bushland to reach the site, before the 41-year-old male pilot was flown by rescue chopper to Cairns Hospital in a stable condition.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said the pilot had complained of lower back pain but all four occupants had been able to get out of the helicopter before help arrived.

It is believed the group were Biosecurity Queensland officers surveying the invasive miconia weed, which is a declared pest plant.

Project co-ordinator Mick Jeffery said last week they would be looking for the weed in “dense rainforest areas”.

“Once weeds have been identified, they will be marked using GPS technology,” he said.

High Falls Farm owner Andrew Le Carpentier was visited by State Government employees several days ago, who notified him they would be conducting weed surveys via helicopter in the Whyanbeel Valley this week.

Mr Le Carpentier said he had warned them about a helicopter crash involving crew conducting weed surveys in the valley four years ago.

Four people including government employees, a Cairns Regional Council officer and a pilot were injured after their GBR Bell Ranger 206 helicopter went down near Whyanbeel Rd after striking powerlines on June 1, 2011.

The pilot and one passenger sustained serious injuries, and the other two passengers sustained minor injuries.

Mr Le Carpentier said the powerlines were a hidden danger for low-flying aircraft in the area.

“There’s a big red ball on it to warn the helicopters, but unfortunately what happens is it goes mouldy,’’ he said.

Another resident said the helicopter “fell out of the sky” yesterday, and it appeared there was no contact with powerlines this time.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will investigate the incident.

2012 March: Porongurup Vineyards Spraydrift. Pesticide: 2,4-D

Porongurup wine grapes damaged by herbicide spray drift

Posted

Some Porongurup wine producers in WA’s Great Southern are concerned about grapevine damage, seemingly from spray drift of herbicides being used in summer weed control.

Some growers have reported damage to the Department of Agriculture and Food and it appears that it’s consistent with the effects of phenoxy herbicides such as 2,4-D drifting on to vines.

Angelo Diletti, from Castle Rock winery, is one grower affected.

“It’s widespread within our vineyard. The growing tips of the vines have a typically mis-shapen leaves, almost certain hormone damage,” he said.

“At this stage it’s growing tips, so it probably hasn’t affected this year. What it will do in the future I don’t know.”

The Department of Agriculture agrees that it is phenoxy damage and urges growers spraying summer weeds to be very careful in monitoring spraying conditions to avoid sprays drifting into susceptible crops such as grapes.

June 2021: Bird Deaths – Galahs (Parkes, New South Wales). Pesticide: Bromadiolone

Mouse plague impacts widen to native birds as EPA confirms galahs killed by bait

4 June 2021

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-04/bird-victims-of-suspected-mice-baiting/100187904

An investigation by the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has confirmed numerous bird deaths in western New South Wales were caused by the consumption of mouse bait.

The finding follows reports of native birds suspected to have been poisoned in the Central West.

Toxicology results found some native and introduced species around Forbes, Parkes, Dubbo, Narromine, Condobolin and the Riverina were poisoned.

Kelly Lacey, the WIRES bird coordinator from Parkes, found up to 100 dead galahs at the town’s cemetery.

“Seeing the dead bodies and picking them up was just truly heartbreaking,” Ms Lacey said.

Ms Lacey said when she arrived there were only two left alive — barely.

She said one had blood in its faeces, which made her suspect their deaths were a result of internal bleeding from eating bait.

“I feel stronger poisons are going to have a great impact on our wildlife,” Ms Lacey said.

Follow guidelines, reduce impacts

The NSW government has announced a $50 million mouse control package that will include the distribution of 10,000 litres of bromadiolone, if it is approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

The second-generation anti-coagulant has been widely described as “napalm” for mice and is banned because of its strength.

EPA executive director of regulatory operations Carmen Dwyer said safe baiting was important.

“There’s always the possibility of a non-target animal taking the bait,” she said.

Ms Dwyer urged people to use the bait in the amount recommended on the label.

“We’ll minimise any offsite impacts to our families, our communities, the environment and wildlife,” she said.

Question of strength

Charles Sturt University ornithologist Maggie Watson said the widespread use of second-generation rodenticides could decimate native wildlife populations.

“Some just kill anything that comes into contact with them,” she said.

Dr Watson said there had already been reports of large numbers of animals being killed by treated grain.

“If we bring bromadiolone into the system, we’re just going to wave bye-bye to a whole suite of native animals in the landscape,” she said.

2021 Feb: Robinvale (Victoria) bird killing most likely deliberate. Pesticide: Methomyl

Mass killing of birds was most likely deliberate

Feb 25 2021 (Canberra Times)

Investigators have all but ruled out the deaths were caused by accident such as spray drift, which had been suggested.

“It is unlikely the cause of death in this instance was from nearby crops being sprayed with insecticide,” Victorian government authorities said.

About 100 corellas fell dead from trees at Robinvale, in northern Victoria, on December 1 last year.

The Robinvale region has many horticulture crops, including table and wine grapes, citrus and almonds.

While corellas have a reputation as a nuisance and destructive to crops and gardens when they gather in large numbers, it is against the law to poison them.

No-one has yet been blamed for the deaths, despite an appeal for public help and the involvement of police and government authorities.

A dog which was seen to have one of the dead birds in its mouth later became sick, it has been disclosed.

Acting senior forest and wildlife officer Patrick Vincenzini said the investigation was ongoing.

“A necropsy of several deceased birds found no signs of infectious disease,” Mr Vincenzini said.

“High concentrations of methomyl – an active ingredient found in various insecticides – was, however, identified in toxicology tests performed on the carcasses.”

Methomyl is considered highly important for pest management in some horticulture crops and is widely used against fruit fly.

“We are appealing to anyone who may have information about this case to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the DELWP Customer Contact Centre on 136 186,” Mr Vincenzini said.

Corellas are a common species in the Robinvale area and the number killed would not have an impact on the species.

Authorities warn there were risks to vulnerable and endangered bird species such as the Regent Parrot in the Robinvale area.

Killing wildlife by poison is an offence under the Wildlife Act 1975. A person found guilty can receive penalties of up to $16,522 and/or six months jail.

The government is reviewing those laws with the likelihood more severe penalties will be available in future.

2021 Feb: Recycler Suez says herbicides in contaminated compost came from Melbourne council water. Pesticides: Dicamba, 2,4-D, MCPA, Triclopyr, Picloram

Recycler Suez says herbicides in contaminated compost came from Melbourne council waste

21/2/21

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-21/suez-herbicides-contaminated-compost-melbourne-council/13175200

Recycling giant Suez says the powerful herbicides that contaminated a batch of compost produced at its Melbourne facility late last year, killing hundreds of home vegetable gardens, came from council green waste.

“Feedstock obtained from municipal sources contained traces of the agricultural herbicides dicamba, 2,4-D, MCPA, triclopyr and picloram,” a Suez spokesperson told the ABC.

“These are herbicides that would not normally be expected to be found and are therefore not ones for which testing is required.

“We continue to work at determining their source.”

Chris Williams, who lectures in Urban Horticulture at Melbourne University, said he was shocked to find out the herbicides came from a council.

“I really thought this is the worst-case scenario,” Dr Williams said.

“I was hoping we were dealing with manure. That would have been relatively easy to regulate.

“But if we’re getting residual herbicide in municipal green waste, that’s a lot more complex.

2021 February: Bee Deaths, Dalby (Queensland). Pesticide: Fipronil

Bee deaths spark investigation after traces of chemical Fipronil found in hives

19/2/21

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-18/dalby-bee-deaths-spark-fipronil-investigation/13162662

A southern Queensland beekeeper is desperate for answers after losing up to 600,000 honeybees to suspected poisoning by a controversial agricultural chemical.

Peter Donohoe, from Dalby, first contacted biosecurity officials after finding hundreds of dying bees on his property on Christmas morning.

“I went out and there are dead bees in front of every hive and bees dying at the same time,” he said.

“I tried to see what bees I could save and we started moving them and splitting [the hives].

“Exactly four weeks later the leftover bees that were there got hit again.”

Mr Donohoe shifted the survivors, mostly Italian bees, to a new location near the Dalby township but the deaths have continued up to this week.

He estimated 15 hives had been destroyed, while the remaining hives were weakened.

“It’s gut-wrenching. I can’t really cope with it,” he said.

“You’re left with an absolute mess of dead bees and empty boxes.

2021 February: Toxic Compost (Reservoir, Victoria). Pesticides?

Hundreds of Victorian home gardeners angry and out of pocket after using toxic compost from major recycler Suez

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-14/toxic-garden-compost-kills-vegetables-victorian-gardeners-angry/13152164

Feb 14 2021

Some time in October last year, a batch of commercial compost left a Suez recycling facility in Melbourne, bound for garden centres in central Victoria and Melbourne.

Within days, it had been combined into soil mixes, and sold to backyard gardeners planting their summer veggie crops.

Within weeks, many of those crops were dying.

“Nothing survived,” said Kelly West, who lives in the northern Melbourne suburb of Reservoir.

In her front yard are two barren tubs that were supposed to be a thriving vegetable patch for her neighbours to harvest and enjoy.

“We were pretty excited about these beds. We had zucchini, squash, tomato, eggplant, and radishes around the edges … it’s really disappointing,” she said.

Her backyard patch died too. But when Kelly mentioned it to a friend, she soon discovered she wasn’t the only one who had lost their summer crop of veggies.

She’s now one of more than 240 members of a Facebook group started just a few months ago in central Victoria by local gardeners who have experienced exactly the same thing.

Low concentrations of herbicides can have devastating results

The garden damage has prompted an Environment Protection Authority probe, and tests from Suez.

Experts believe the Suez compost was contaminated with a powerful herbicide that somehow wasn’t removed in the composting process.

It wasn’t picked up in testing, but even at low concentration it can have a devastating impact on gardens.

Clare — who’s been a gardener for 40 years in central Victoria — was one of the first to raise the alarm in September after buying a load of soil from a local garden centre.

“After a couple of weeks, the leaves on my broad beans were curling — then the whole plant just became very twisted,” she said.

“I had never ever seen anything like that before. They didn’t flower or produce any beans. And then they just yellowed and died.”

So did her tomatoes, capsicum, and eggplants.

To make it even more perplexing, some plants — like sweet corn, and brassicas like broccoli and cabbage — were not affected at all.

When Kelly and Clare went back to their garden centres for answers, they didn’t get far.

Kelly’s supplier in Melbourne told her to take it up with Suez.

Clare’s attempts to reach her central Victorian garden centre by phone and email were ignored.

“Initially, my thing was to alert them to a problem,” she said.

But many have. Some say they’ve have lost thousands of dollars in soil and seedling costs, to say nothing of the lost produce, and the simple enjoyment of growing their own food.

‘This pops up all the time’

The toxic substance is probably a powerful broadleaf herbicide, according to Chris Williams, a lecturer in Urban Horticulture at Melbourne University.

“Anecdotally, this pops up all the time,” he said.

Dr Williams has seen it firsthand, when plants at the University’s Burnley campus died the same way three years ago.

He says he is often sent emails from former students asking him about why certain vegetables aren’t growing, and says the symptoms are exactly the same.

He believes the contamination at Burnley came from pea straw treated with horse manure.

“Livestock are eating pasture that’s been treated with these chemicals, which goes straight through them to the manure, and doesn’t break down,” he said.

Phenoxy acid herbicides are sold in variations like aminopyralid, clopyralid, picloram, and triclopyr. They are restricted to agricultural and commercial use, but can find their way into green waste used to make compost.

“Then people are unwittingly putting them onto their home gardens, and they’re getting deformed crops as a result,” said Dr Williams.

Both Suez and the Victorian Environment Protection Authority have been investigating the cluster of complaints, and have commissioned soil tests by the independent lab SESL.

Some samples have found traces of the herbicide, while others have not.

Clare’s garden centre in central Victoria has written to its customers saying soil samples have come back clear. Suez also says testing shows its organic compounds are in line with EPA standards.

But it’s not that simple.

SESL’s senior soil scientist in Victoria Declan McDonald said the herbicide can cause problems in concentrations as low as a few parts per billion, which is too low for some labs to detect.

“We haven’t been able to identify the smoking gun yet — but there’s been lots of sound of gunfire,” he said.

The EPA said: “There could have been an issue with product control either from the original supplier or during mixing at the shop, though it is not possible to conclusively prove that.”

Clare is no doubt. She set up a series of test pots in her greenhouse containing samples from the four batches of soil she’d bought, and one with soil from her own backyard. It was the only one that survived.

And it’s now apparent this contaminated batch is not a one-off event. Kelly said her problems began with a load of soil bought in March last year, also sourced from Suez.

For gardeners like Clare and Kelly — and many more like them — it’s not clear who to complain to for a refund, or what to do with the toxic soil in their gardens.

“Do we cover it all in plastic? Do we get it removed? Maybe it’s leaking into the rest of our soil. We really don’t know,” Kelly said.

Clare spread the soil in two rows at the back of her property. In the four months since, nothing has grown in them — not even weeds.

If your plants aren’t growing, it might not be your fault

The EPA has passed the matter on to Consumer Affairs Victoria, which says it is aware of the complaints and is looking into the matter.

Suez told the ABC it has “ceased the sale of its composts until new batches are deemed clear of any unnecessary additives,” but did not answer questions on how it plans to deal with requests for compensation or soil removal.

Even when — or if — gardeners get refunds, the scale of this contamination incident means the issue is unlikely to go away.

In the UK, and parts of the US, public campaigns in the 2000s led to restrictions on the use of phenoxy acid herbicides in agriculture.

But in Australia, the issue is almost unknown outside the industry.

Dr Williams says that may be because gardeners — especially novices — may have no idea what is causing the problem.

“They’ll think, ‘I haven’t used enough mulch, I’ve haven’t used enough compost’. But in this case, it’s very clear you have these deformities caused by residual herbicide.”

Kelly says she simply hopes it doesn’t put people off gardening, or using organic materials like compost.

“I really feel for COVID gardeners who have picked it up during the lockdown and really got into their gardening. Because it’s such a fantastic thing to do, mentally and physically,” she said.

“They may not realise that it’s not their fault that their plants aren’t growing, and that might then make them give up on gardening. So I think it’s really important for people to know that there’s more to this.”

2020 October: Poisoned Eagles, Willurah Road, Conargo (NSW). Pesticide: ?

Wedge-tailed eagle deaths near Deniliquin linked to pesticide poisoning

https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/news/media-releases/2021/epamedia210127-wedge-tailed-eagle-deaths-near-deniliquin-linked-to-pesticide-poisoning

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has confirmed that several wedge-tailed eagle deaths near Deniliquin last year were the result of pesticide poisoning and is calling on the public to help identify the source.

On October 29, 2020 a report from a member of the public led NSW Police to find eight dead eagles off Willurah Rd outside of Conargo in southern NSW.

EPA officers collected two of the birds and sent them for analysis at the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s environmental forensic laboratory.

The toxicology results showed the eagles died as a result of pesticide poisoning.

EPA Director Regulatory Operations Gary Whytcross said the EPA and NSW Police suspect the birds were specifically targeted.

“To find that many birds dead less than forty metres apart is highly suspicious and now with confirmation of pesticide poisoning it certainly looks like this was a targeted attack,” Mr Whytcross said.

“Wedge-tailed eagles, like all native Australian birds, are a protected species and it is illegal to harm one.

“Killing eight eagles with poison is a horrible crime and we want to find whoever did it.

“We’re calling on the public to come forward with any information that might help.

“If you’ve seen any unusual behaviour, or know anything that could assist us, please contact the EPA’s Environment Line on 131 555, the Deniliquin Police Station on 03 5881 9299 or CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.”

The EPA and NSW Police are continuing their investigation into the matter.

2021 January: Dead fish, yabbies, aquatic life (Cohuna, Vic). Pesticide: Acrolein

Fish, yabbies and aquatic life dead after ‘toxic’ herbicide treatment in irrigation channel

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-23/dead-fish-after-herbicide-acrolein-used-in-irrigation-channel/13084030

Mal Johnson isn’t happy. The Cohuna farmer has spent the past few days cleaning up dead fish and plants from an irrigation channel on his property near Cohuna in northern Victoria.

“I walked up onto the channel bank, looked into the water and there was just a foot-wide stream of fish, all dead,” Mr Johnson said.

The Torrumbarry Irrigation Channel was injected this week with the toxic herbicide Acrolein to get rid of weeds that are blocking up the system that provides water to more than 100 farming properties in the region.

“I’ve walked up here several times in the last few days, and I go home and say why? Why does this keep on happening to our environment? It’s just not fair,” Mr Johnson said.

Murray Goulburn Water (MGW) notified irrigators about the herbicide treatment and told them not to use water from the channels for 72 hours afterwards.

Water full of dead fish is meant to be safe

But three days later, Mr Johnson is still removing dead fish from the water.

“This channel is meant to be safe to use today,” he said.

But he’s concerned that the dead fish and plants in the water may cause botulism in cattle.

GMW assistant manager Tim Nitschke said the water was safe for use.

“I’m extremely confident that it is safe,” he said.

“There have been many, many studies done on this product. We’ve also done multiple and extensive water quality testing programs to demonstrate that,” he said.

Mr Nitschke said fish kills were to be expected during the herbicide treatment, but there was no alternative.

Outdated herbicide kills endangered species, ecologist says

“Acroelin is our last resort,” he said.

“We don’t use it as our ‘go-to’ product, but it’s something we use when we have no other options.”

But ecologist Damien Cook said Acrolein is an outdated herbicide from the 1960s and is killing endangered species like the growling grass frog.

“It was once described as the most common species of frog — now there’s only one population that we know of in the area,” Mr Cook said.

“One of the reasons it’s declined is herbicide use, and chemicals in the environment.

“The frog has gone from being one of the most common species to now being endangered.”

Mr Cook said although the Torrumbarry Channel was an artificially constructed irrigation network, the channels remained an important habitat for aquatic life along the Murray-Darling Basin.

Weeds blocking irrigation channel

But Kerang farmer Geoff Kendell said the weeds are causing headaches along the channels and need to be removed.

“Goulburn Murray Water will ring us up and say ‘What’s wrong? You’re supposed to be having 20 megalitres coming out of the channel, and you’re only getting three out,'” he said.

“It’s the weed that’s causing the problem.”

But Mr Kendell said Goulburn Murray Water should have taken a proactive approach, rather than a reactive one.

“They should have dried the channels and the creeks out in winter and allowed the frost to kill most of the weeds,” he said.

Mr Nitschke said that idea was under consideration.

“GMW is definitely looking at de-watering our network more regularly,” he said.

“There are losses associated with that, but we’re trying to find that right balance — making sure we still provide irrigation water to our farmers so that they can produce food and fibre.”

2017/18: Prairie (Qld). Pesticide: Hepatchlor

Prairie (Queensland) – Heptachlor

2017/18: Prairie (Queensland) Total Heptachlor 0.371ug/L (mean)

2017/18 Drinking Water Quality Management Plan Flinders Shire Council

2018/19: Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Metsulfuron Methyl

Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Metsulfuron Methyl

2018/19: Torrens Creek (Queensland). Metsulfuron Methyl 0.06ug/L

Flinders Shire Council 2018/19 Drinking Water Quality Management Plan

2018/19: Hughenden (Queensland). Pesticides: Asulam, 24-DP Dichloroprop

Hughenden (Qld) Asulam, 24-DP Dichloroprop

2018/19: Hughenden Source

Asulam: 0.075ug/L (max)

2018/19: Hughenden Reticulation

Asulam 0.075ug/L (max), 0.05ug/L (av.)

24-DP Dichloroprop 0.05ug/L (max), 0.05ug/L (av.)

Source: Flinders Shire Council 2018/19 Drinking Water Quality Management Plan

2019/20: Bundaberg WSA (Queensland). Hexazinone, 2,4-D

Bundaberg WSA  (Queensland) 

2019/20: Hexazinone 0.02ug/L (max), 0.01ug/L (av.). 2,4-D 0.05ug/L (max), 0.04ug/L (av.)

Bundaberg Shire Council Drinking Water Quality Management Plans 2013/20

2019/21: Gin Gin Reservoir (Queensland). Pesticides: Hexazinone, 2,4-D

Gin Gin Reservoir (Queensland)

2019/20: Hexazinone 0.02ug/L (max), 0.01ug/L (av.). 2,4-D 0.05ug/L (max), 0.04ug/L (av.)

2020/21: Hexazinone 0.01ug/L (max)

2019/21 Bundaberg Drinking Water Quality Management Plan Report 2019/21

2019/21: Gooburrum Reservoir (Queensland). Pesticide: Hexazinone

Gooburrum Reservoir (Queensland)

2019/20: Hexazinone 0.02ug/L (max), 0.01ug/L (av.)

2020/21: Hexazinone 0.02ug/L (max)

Bundaberg Shire Council Drinking Water Quality Management Plans 2019/21

2019/21: Lake Monduran Reservoir (Queensland). Pesticides: Hexazinone, 2,4-D

Lake Monduran Reservoir (Queensland)

2019/20: Hexazinone 0.02ug/L (max), 0.01ug/L (av.), 2,4-D 0.08ug/L (max), 0.02ug/L (av.)

2020/21: 2,4-D 0.18ug/L (max), 0.01ug/L (min)

Bundaberg Shire Council Drinking Water Quality Management Plans 2019/21

2019 October: Congeratinga River (South Australia). Pesticides: Clopyralid, Haloxyfop, Metsulfuron Methyl

Wirrina Catchment – Congeratinga River South Australia

17/10/19: Clopyralid 0.6ug/L, Haloxyfop 0.45ug/L, Metsulfuron Methyl 0.06ug/L

2020: Myponga Tiers Monitoring Station (South Australia). Pesticides: 2,4-D, Chlorpyrifos, Dimethoate, Glyphosate, MCPA, Metsulfuron Methyl

Myponga Tiers Monitoring Station W5020003 (South Australia)

8/8/19: MCPA

4/2/20: 2,4-D 0.06ug/L

27/4/20: Metsulfuron Methyl 0.05ug/L

9/5/20: Glyphosate 6ug/L, MCPA 0.38ug/L

16/6/20: Chlorpyrifos 0.02ug/L, Dimethoate 0.09ug/L, MCPA 6.93ug/L

2019: Wirrina Cove (South Australia). Pesticides: MCPA

Wirrina Cove (South Australia)

25/7/19: Wirrina Cove – Dam 5 MCPA 0.1ug/L

2020 September: Bird Deaths Hampden Road Reserve, Lakemba (NSW)

EPA seeking information after deliberate bird baiting

https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/news/media-releases/2020/epamedia200911-epa-seeking-information-after-deliberate-bird-baiting

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is appealing for information about the apparent poisoning of a large number of birds at a suburban Sydney park.

The EPA received reports of 24 and possibly more deceased and sick birds at Hampden Road Reserve, Lakemba, with 10 found in a single day on Saturday 29 August.

The affected species include native Corellas, Ibis, Cockatoos and pigeons. A Sydney Wildlife volunteer came across suspected poison rodenticide scattered with rice on the ground in the Reserve.

EPA Director Regulatory Operations Giselle Howard said the killing of birds, whether through intentional or reckless misuse of pesticide, was a serious offence.

“On the evidence we’ve received, this is deplorable behaviour. The EPA will certainly take legal action against anyone found guilty of unlawfully using pesticides to poison native animals.

“Under the Pesticides Act it is illegal to use pesticides to kill or harm non-target animals such as native birds.

“No suspects have been identified, but the EPA would be happy to receive any information from the public about who may have baited these birds,” Ms Howard.

Canterbury-Bankstown Council are conducting daily inspections of the reserve and clearing any suspected baits. Council officers have been asked to report any suspicious behaviour to the EPA.

Along with Council, the EPA is also working in collaboration with WIRES, Sydney Wildlife and Taronga Zoo to find those responsible for the apparent bird baiting. Each of these organisations has a vital role in protecting wildlife from harm.

2019 July: Rosebank (NSW). Spray Drift Fine

Spray drift complaint might have been avoided if wind speed records were kept

1 July 2019

https://www.theland.com.au/story/6249880/epa-fines-highlight-importance-of-on-farm-data/

A Northern Rivers macadamia farm and its contractor were punished by the Environment Protection Authority last week over a case involving a neighbour’s complaint about chemical drift.

No one could actually verify the fact that a contractor on a Rosebank farm near Lismore had sprayed pesticide while it was blowing a gale – up to 52 kilometres an hour as was claimed – exceeding chemical manufacturers’ guidelines.

Bureau of Meteorology wind data for the district comes either from Cape Byron, 23 metres above the ocean, or Lismore airport, which at 11m and on the Wilsons River floodplain typically receives less than half that breeze.

While there was no evidence to suggest the claim was true or not, there should have been, and that’s why the EPA slapped Seabreeze Macadamias with a $1000 fine for incomplete records of farm activity on the day.

“We recommend producers buy an anemometer and log wind speed during spraying activities,” said Australian Macadamia Society chief executive officer Jolyon Burnett.

“It is important to log data. The only reason this grower was fined was because of incomplete records.”

The EPA issued an official caution to the spray contractor for not holding a licence to undertake ground applicator work, a requirement now one year old. The contractor said he didn’t know that.

Neither did the AMS, which was unable to inform its member growers. However, everyone is now being made aware of the need for contractor licencing at grower meetings taking place this week.

Beyond compliance Mr Burnett said the logging of on-farm data was the hallmark of modern best practice, but to get all growers on board required a big cultural shift.

“Best standard business practice should be about measuring pesticide rates and fertiliser applications and we will see an increase in the area,” he said.

As well, the AMA welcomed new initiatives like the $500,000 now available to rehabilitate priority coastal catchments through Local Land Services and Queensland’s brand new reef protection legislation which will help guide farmers when it comes to best practice.

Meanwhile, the production of macadamias globally continues to grow at about seven per cent with demand exceeding that and leading to stable prices above $5/kg for nut in shell at 10 per cent moisture.

Dry summer conditions will lower forecasted harvest tonnage by 5500 tonnes to 48,000t. Last year’s record production was 52,000t.

Queensland now supplies 53 per cent of product with Bundaberg district contributing 40pc and the Northern Rivers 35pc. South-east Queensland and isolated plantations on the mid North Coast make up the remainder.

2019 February: Jerilderie (NSW). Spray Drift

EPA investigating possible spray drift near Jerilderie

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is investigating an alleged incident of potential spray drift that impacted a local cotton crop at Jerilderie in the state’s Riverina region.

 EPA Manager Regional Operations Riverina Far West Craig Bretherton said an investigation commenced after a complaint was made to the EPA’s Environment Line in December.

“Disappointingly, this is the second consecutive year this has occurred to summer crops in the area,” Mr Bretherton said.

The EPA has taken samples from the farm and these are currently being tested as part of the investigation.

Mr Bretherton said this is a timely reminder to landholders and contractors to use herbicides responsibly this summer to avoid spray drift that may impact surrounding areas.

2019/20: Dookie (Victoria) – Atrazine

2019/20: Dookie (Victoria) – Atrazine detected

p35 “All the pesticides tested in the source water were reported by the NATA laboratory at values below the level of reporting with the exception of a single detection of Atrazine at Euroa and Dookie, both at 10ug/L and in the raw water, well under the health limit of 20ug/L.”

Goulburn Valley Water – Water Quality Annual Report 2019-20

2019-20: Euroa (Victoria) – Atrazine

2019/20: Euroa (Victoria) – Atrazine detected

p35 “All the pesticides tested in the source water were reported by the NATA laboratory at values below the level of reporting with the exception of a single detection of Atrazine at Euroa and Dookie, both at 10ug/L and in the raw water, well under the health limit of 20ug/L.”

Goulburn Valley Water – Water Quality Annual Report 2019-20

2020 October: Contaminated Gibberellic Acid – Sunraysia Region (Victoria) – Clopyralid

The Weekly Times October 14 2020

P1 Killer Chemicals Table-grape producers to sue Chinese company over contaminated spray.

A group of Australian table grape growers are preparing to go up against a Chinese state-owned chemical giant in a legal battle for millions of dollars in compensation after a contaminated chemical destroyed their vines.

And The Weekly Times can reveal it took chemical company ADAMA more than three months to recall the product after being alerted to issues associated with it – a decision the industry fears could have jeopardised Australian access to lucrative export markets, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

An investigation by The Weekly Times can also reveal:

As LEAST 11 growers are seeking more than $7 million in compensation from ADAMA after its Gibberellic Acid, used to promote fruit growth, was found to contain Clopyralid, a weed killer toxic to table grapes and not registered for use on fruit.

Damage from the contaminated Gibberellic Acid was brought to ADAMA’s attention in October 2018. However, the company did not recall the product until February 13, 2019 – about two weeks after growers started harvesting their table grapes.

The Federal Government body responsible for policing chemical companies, Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, which is funded by the companies it regulates, is yet to complete its investigation into the incident, more than 20 months after the recall.

New table-grape varieties that were grown as part of a trial by Australia’s leading science agency, CSIRO, were damaged by the contaminated chemical, but it is understood CSIRO is not taking legal action.

One table grape grower, who did not want to be named, said the contaminated Gibberellic Acid had “crippled” his family’s business…

Most of the 11 growers who sprayed the contaminated chemical have or are in the process of pulling out their vines because they were so badly damaged.

Eight growers, mostly located in the Sunraysia district where most of the country’s table grapes are grown, have begun legal action in the Victorian County Court against ADAMA and the retailer they bought the Gibberellic Acid from National Agricultural Services.

Court documents show these growers were seeking about $3.8 million in loss and damages but it is now understood ongoing losses now mean they are now seeking more than $7 million.

Solicitor Tyler Wolff, who is representing most of the growers, said they had lost three to four years worth of income.

It has hit the smaller growers really hard and put emotional strain on their business and family life. Some have had to sell permanent water while they wait for money to come in,” he said. “It has hit the bigger growers hard as they haven’t been able to pursue opportunities such as expanding their operations….

Victorian Farmers Federation vice-president Emma Germano said there should not be a “culture of secrecy” and there were “clearly deficiencies in the system” around recalling contaminated chemicals that needed to be addressed for the sake of Australia’s “clean green image.”…

Ms Germano raised concerns about the agriculture chemical industry’s regulator APVMA, being majority funded by the companies it regulates.

“Is it truly an independent regulator? If it’s not we have to ask the Government to resource this differently. Clearly we need something that is a bit more rigorous,” she said.

ADAMA which is owned by ADAMA Agricultural Solutions, a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned ChemChina, did not answer questions from The Weekly Times.

Neither did National Agricultural Services.

At the time of the recall, ADAMA claimed a labelling issue occurred to the tail end of the batch of Gibberellic Acid, during the manufacturing process conducted by a third party.

The Weekly Times understands the third party was Autopak, an agriculture chemical manufacturer in NSW. Autopak did not respond to questions.

The APVMA said it was unable to comment “on matters currently under investigation”.

In 2019-20 the APVMA received 280 allegations against the companies it regulates and from these referred two for prosecution and provided nine with formal warnings.

2020 August: Geraldton (Western Australia). Pesticide: Ratsak/Brodifacoum

Native owls, lizards dying after eating mice and rats poisoned with Ratsak

26/8/20

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-26/wildlife-carers-say-owls-lizards-are-dying-eating-poisoned-mice/

A Western Australian wildlife carer is urging people to stop using a well-known brand of rodenticide because it is killing native owls and lizards who eat poisoned mice and rats.

Michelle Jones of GG Wildlife Rescue in Geraldton takes in sick and injured native animals to recover and then release back to the wild.

In the past month, she has seen five native owl species that were poisoned by Ratsak and only one survived.

“The ones that come in are the lucky ones,” she said.

The one that survived is still in care and when it has returned to a healthy weight it will be released in the same location it was found.

Alternatives to poison

Ms Jones said at this time of the year it can be common to see more vermin, meaning an increase in the use of poisonings.

Not only can rodenticides be fatal to native owls, but also to native lizard species.

“I don’t think they realise that the second degree poison is actually killing and making a lot of native species really sick,” she said.

Ms Jones said there are other options that can be used to get rid of mice and rats, like traps, or simply ensuring that you clean up anything that could be a food supply like bird seed.

Nature’s pest control

Some of the most common species Ms Jones has seen poisoned have been the southern boobook owl, the barn owl and black-shouldered kites.

Ms Jones said the best way to get rid of mice and rats is to look after their predators.

“What we are killing, if you’ve got them on your property … these guys are natural predators for rats and mice,” she said.

“You’re really doing something that inadvertently is going to affect the ecology and the ecosystem on your property for future generations.”

2020 June: Canola Crop Damage. Glenorchy (Victoria). Pesticide: Triasulfuron?

Suspicious canola crop damage under investigation

Aug 19 2020

https://www.northqueenslandregister.com.au/story/6886786/suspicious-canola-crop-damage-under-investigation/?cs=4751

POLICE are investigating a failed crop in Victoria’s southern Wimmera region to see whether it has been deliberately poisoned.

A canola crop in the Glenorchy district has been killed by herbicide and Ararat Police’s criminal investigation unit is investigating the cause.

“Potential deliberate damage is one of the avenues we are examining,” said senior constable Jackson Seres.

While spray drift is responsible for significant crop damage across the country at this stage it is not believed it is the culprit in this instance.

S/C Seres said all avenues, such as potential accidental contamination of spray equipment were also being looked at but added the farmer did not believe there had been a spraying error to cause the damage.

He said that the poisoning angle did not centre around someone taking a boom spray and applying chemical directly to the paddock, but rather contaminating a water tank used to prepare tank mixes for spraying.

The farmer with the poisoned crop may not have even been the target of the alleged contamination as the water tank is shared by several neighbours.

Police have been given an estimated loss from the damage of $100,000.

Laboratory investigations are ongoing as to what the active ingredient that caused the damage was, with triasulfuron, widely used in common herbicides, nominated as one potential culprit given the way the damage presented.

It is believed the herbicide was applied to the crop at a post-emergent stage, likely to be some time in June.

Grains industry leaders were scratching their heads to think of a precedent.

While spray drift and accidental application of the wrong chemical by the farmer has torched crops in the past, no one could remember an example in broadacre cropping where spray equipment had been deliberately tampered with in order to sabotage a crop.

The story Suspicious canola crop damage under investigation first appeared on Farm Online.

 

2020: Gwydir Wetlands (New South Wales). Spray Drift

Spray operators urged to apply pesticides carefully to prevent spray drift

https://www.miragenews.com/spray-operators-urged-to-apply-pesticides-carefully-to-prevent-spray-drift/

13 August 2020

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is reminding spray operators to follow safety protocols and use herbicides and pesticides responsibly to avoid impacting non-target crops and the environment.

The reminder comes after separate incidents in February this year where wetlands and trees in Moree were allegedly damaged by aerial spraying and trees allegedly damaged at Deepwater 40 km north of Glen Innes.

The EPA was alerted to the alleged aerial overspray at Moree by a resident who reported dead and dying leaves on his trees, on roadside trees and trees along the nearby travelling stock route.

Several trees two kilometres away in the Gwydir Wetlands were also found to have recent pesticide spray damage, with foliage dead or burnt off, along with patches of burnt grass.

The company has been fined $1,500 by the EPA for misuse of pesticides.

A Northern Tablelands landowner was also fined $1,500 and received an official caution for allegedly damaging a neighbour’s trees and using a pesticide contrary to an approved label.

EPA Director Regulatory Operations Gary Whytcross said it was positive that both parties had since undertaken to introduce measures to improve spray drift risk assessment and management.

“The proper use of pesticides is critical to ensure the operators are safe when applying pesticides and so is the community and the environment,” Mr Whytcross said.

“Pesticides can harm the environment so all care must be taken to ensure pesticides are not used in unsuitable weather conditions that can result in the pesticides leaving the intended application site.

“Safe pesticide use relies on users following the label, applying pesticides during the appropriate weather conditions and notifying neighbours of the spraying.”

The EPA regulates the use of herbicides and pesticides in NSW, including those used in agriculture and on public land, through the Pesticides Act 1999.

The community plays an important role in helping to monitor pesticide activities. Anyone with concern or knowledge of a spray drift incident or pesticide misuse in their local area should contact the EPA’s Environment Line on 131 555.

2020: Deepwater (New South Wales). Spraydrift

Spray operators urged to apply pesticides carefully to prevent spray drift

https://www.miragenews.com/spray-operators-urged-to-apply-pesticides-carefully-to-prevent-spray-drift/

13 August 2020

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is reminding spray operators to follow safety protocols and use herbicides and pesticides responsibly to avoid impacting non-target crops and the environment.

The reminder comes after separate incidents in February this year where wetlands and trees in Moree were allegedly damaged by aerial spraying and trees allegedly damaged at Deepwater 40 km north of Glen Innes.

The EPA was alerted to the alleged aerial overspray at Moree by a resident who reported dead and dying leaves on his trees, on roadside trees and trees along the nearby travelling stock route.

Several trees two kilometres away in the Gwydir Wetlands were also found to have recent pesticide spray damage, with foliage dead or burnt off, along with patches of burnt grass.

The company has been fined $1,500 by the EPA for misuse of pesticides.

A Northern Tablelands landowner was also fined $1,500 and received an official caution for allegedly damaging a neighbour’s trees and using a pesticide contrary to an approved label.

EPA Director Regulatory Operations Gary Whytcross said it was positive that both parties had since undertaken to introduce measures to improve spray drift risk assessment and management.

“The proper use of pesticides is critical to ensure the operators are safe when applying pesticides and so is the community and the environment,” Mr Whytcross said.

“Pesticides can harm the environment so all care must be taken to ensure pesticides are not used in unsuitable weather conditions that can result in the pesticides leaving the intended application site.

“Safe pesticide use relies on users following the label, applying pesticides during the appropriate weather conditions and notifying neighbours of the spraying.”

The EPA regulates the use of herbicides and pesticides in NSW, including those used in agriculture and on public land, through the Pesticides Act 1999.

The community plays an important role in helping to monitor pesticide activities. Anyone with concern or knowledge of a spray drift incident or pesticide misuse in their local area should contact the EPA’s Environment Line on 131 555.

2017/18? Southern Boobok Deaths – Perth environs (Western Australia). Pesticides: Warfarin, Difenacoum, Brodifacoum, Bromadiolone, Difethialone, Flocoumafen

Anticoagulant rodenticide exposure in an Australian predatory bird increases with proximity to developed habitat
Michael T. Lohr
Science of the Total Environment 643 (2018) 134–144

Anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) are commonly used worldwide to control commensal rodents. Second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) are highly persistent and have the potential to cause secondary poisoning in wildlife. To date no comprehensive assessment has been conducted on AR residues in Australian wildlife.
My aim was to measure AR exposure in a common widespread owl species, the Southern Boobook (Ninox boobook) using boobooks found dead or moribund in order to assess the spatial distribution of this potential threat. A high percentage of boobooks were exposed (72.6%) and many showed potentially dangerous levels of AR residue (N0.1 mg/kg) in liver tissue (50.7%). Multiple rodenticides were detected in the livers of 38.4% of boobooks tested. Total liver concentration of ARs correlated positively with the proportions of developed areas
around points where dead boobooks were recovered and negatively with proportions of agricultural and native land covers. Total AR concentration in livers correlated more closely with land use type at the spatial scale of a boobook’s home range than at smaller or larger spatial scales. Two rodenticides not used by the public (difethialone and flocoumafen) were detected in boobooks indicating that professional use of ARs contributed to secondary exposure. Multiple ARs were also detected in recent fledglings, indicating probable exposure prior to fledging. Taken together, these results suggest that AR exposure poses a serious threat to native predators in Australia, particularly in species using urban and peri-urban areas and species with large home ranges.

2020 August: Boobook Owl Poisoning – Melbourne (Victoria). Pesticide: Brodifacoum

Walking time bombs’: bird lovers call for ban on poisons

https://www.theage.com.au/environment/conservation/walking-time-bombs-bird-lovers-call-for-ban-on-poisons-20200812-p55kyl.html

August 12 2020

When word got around the office a boobook owl had been spotted in a nearby inner-city street, everyone in the BirdLife office grabbed their binoculars and headed for the door.

Unsurprisingly, when staff at Australia’s largest bird conservation organisation hear an unusual bird has visited Melbourne’s CBD, they rush to see it (and have binoculars at work).

But there was something wrong with this owl. It sat perched only three metres off the ground, on a tree with no foliage.

“It was completely exposed and close to the ground – you wouldn’t usually see a nocturnal bird displaying that kind of behaviour,” says Birdlife campaigns advisor Andrew Hunter.

Later that day a passerby found it dead under a tree in a nearby park. Hunter, who is also a wildlife rescuer, wanted to get the owl’s body checked for poisoning from anticoagulant rodenticides, or rodent poisons.

So he took it back to the office freezer – used for keeping bird carcasses that will be taxidermied for educational purposes – and arranged for veterinary students at Melbourne University to do a pro bono dissection.

This found large haemorrhages under the skin and in the muscle of the owl’s keel, extending down the length of the left wing and around the carpus (wrist) of the right wing.

The tissues also had very high levels of of the anti-coagulant brodifacoum, enough to cause toxicity and account for the haemorrhages, the dissection report showed.

For Hunter and the other Birdlife staff, it was a first-hand experience of an issue their organisation has been campaigning on for years: the lethal effect of anticoagulant rodenticides, also called second-generation rat poisons, on birds like owls, kites and other birds of prey.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority is currently examining these rodenticides on the basis of concerns for worker exposure, public health and environmental safety.

Birds like boobook owls and black-winged kites can devour multiple rats and mice that have taken bait, says BirdLife Australia’s Sean Dooley. And because the poison takes some time to work, the poisoned rats are like “walking time-bombs”.

It’s a long and painful death for the birds, Dooley says. “These second-generation poisons don’t break down quickly – some can stay in tissues and organs for months, even years.” They can also cause birds to become disorientated, meaning they are more likely to crash into structures and vehicles.

These household products have been banned in some jurisdictions in the US and Europe, but are available from Australian supermarkets and hardware stores. They work by inhibiting Vitamin K in the body and disrupting the normal coagulation process. Poisoned animals suffer from uncontrolled hemorrhaging.

Professional pesticide users would prefer anticoagulant rodenticides were taken off retail shelves and made less accessible to the public, says Eris Hess, associate director of the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association.

“The real question is why the bird is able to access the rodent. The general public is buying off supermarket shelves and using it incorrectly,” Mr Hess said. Professional users know they should collect the carcasses afterwards, he said.

The association would like a licence required for use, perhaps the safe chemical users licence, which most farmers already have.

All second-generation rodenticides should also be used in bait boxes to contain pests that have ingested poison, so they are not a risk to other animals or children, Mr Hess said.

2003: Middle River (South Australia). Pesticide: DDE

2003: Middle River (South Australia) Sediment

DDE 9 μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: Cygnet River Estuary Sediment (South Australia). Pesticides: Aldrin, DDD, DDE, Dieldrin

2003: Cygnet River Estuary (South Australia) Sediment

Aldrin 9 μg/kg, DDD 1.1 μg/kg, DDE 2.3 μg/kg, Dieldrin 3.3 μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: Hill River Sediment (South Australia). Pesticide: DDE

2003: Hill River (South Australia) Sediment

DDE 3.1 μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: Broughton River Sediment (South Australia). Pesticide: DDE

2003: Broughton River (South Australia) Sediment

DDE 4.8 μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: Finniss River Sediment (South Australia). Pesticide: Chlorpyrifos

2003: Finniss River (South Australia) Sediment

Chlorpyrifos 20 μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: Lake Albert Sediment (South Australia). Pesticide: DDE

2003: Lake Albert (South Australia) Sediment

DDE 0.6 μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: Coorong Sediment (South Australia). Pesticides: Aldrin, Dieldrin, Delta HCH

2003: Coorong (South Australia) Sediment

Aldrin 2.4μg/kg, Dieldrin 3.6 μg/kg, Delta HCH 2.2 μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: Drain C Sediment Coonawarra (South Australia). Pesticide: DDE

2003: Drain C Coonawarra (South Australia) Sediment

DDE 1.9 μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: Cuppa Cup Swamp Sediment, Tatiara Creek (South Australia). Pesticide: DDE

2003: Cuppa Cup Swamp, Tatiara Creek (South Australia) Sediment

DDE 9.8 μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: Patawalonga Weir Sediment (South Australia). Pesticides: Aldrin, Chlordane, DDD, DDE, Total DDT, Chlorpyrifos

2003: Patawalonga Weir (South Australia) Sediment

Aldrin 5.5μg/kg, Chlordane 4.6μg/kg, DDD 16.6μg/kg, DDE 4.6μg/kg, Total DDT 27.6μg/kg, Chlorpyrifos 61μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: Virginia Drainage Lines Sediment (South Australia). Pesticide: Simazine

2003: Virginia Drainage Lines (South Australia) Sediment

Simazine 15μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003/09: Cox Creek Sediment (South Australia). Pesticides: Chlordane, DDE, Dieldrin, Simazine, DDD, DDT

2003/09: Cox Creek (South Australia) Sediment

2003: Chlordane 2.8μg/kg, DDE 35μg/kg, Dieldrin 4.1μg/kg, Simazine 40μg/kg

2009: DDD 6.8μg/kg, DDE 61μg/kg, DDT 15 μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: Lenswood Creek Sediment (South Australia). Pesticide: DDE

2003: Lenswood Creek (South Australia) Sediment

DDE 4.1μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: Onkarparinga River Sediment (South Australia). Pesticides: DDE, Chlorpyrifos, Diazinon

2003: Onkarparinga River (South Australia) Sediment

DDE 1.5μg/kg, Chlorpyrifos 23μg/kg, Diazinon 18μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: Barker Inlet Wetland Sediment (South Australia). Pesticide: Simazine

2003: Barker Inlet Wetland (South Australia) Sediment

Simazine 45μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: Greenfields Wetland Sediment (South Australia). Pesticide: DDE

2003: Greenfields Wetland (South Australia) Sediment

DDE 2.7μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: River Torrens, Holbrooks Weir Sediment (South Australia). Pesticide: DDE

2003: River Torrens, Holbrooks Weir (South Australia) Sediment

DDE 4.7μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: River Torrens Outfall Sediment (South Australia). Pesticides: DDE, Simazine

2003: River Torrens Outfall (South Australia) Sediment

DDE 4.4mg/kg, Simazine 15μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2003: River Torrens Lake Weir (South Australia). Pesticide: DDE

2003: River Torrens (South Australia) – Lake Weir

DDE 6.6μg/kg

EPA South Australia. A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments. Clive Jenkins March 2013. https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/8537_aquatic_pesticides.pdf

2000-2003 Merah North Farm Soil (New South Wales). Pesticides: Endrin, DDE, Endosulfan, Endosulfan Sulphate

2000-2003 Merah North – Soils

Pesticides detected in soil to a depth of 1.2m: Endrin, DDE, Endosulfan, Endosulfan Sulfate

Organochlorine pesticides in soil under irrigated cotton farming systems in Vertisols of the Namoi Valley, north-western New South Wales,Australia

Author: Weaver, Timothy B, Ghadiri, Hossein, Hulugalle, Nilantha R, Harden, Stephen

https://research-repository.griffith.edu.au/bitstream/handle/10072/48782/82240_1.pdf?sequence=1

2000-2003 Wee Waa Farm (New South Wales). Pesticides: Endrin, DDT, DDE, DDD, Endosulfan, Endosulfan Sulfate

2000-2003 Wee Waa – Soils

Pesticides detected in soil to a depth of 1.2m: Endrin, DDT, DDE, DDD, Endosulfan, Endosulfan Sulfate

Organochlorine pesticides in soil under irrigated cotton farming systems in Vertisols of the Namoi Valley, north-western New South Wales,Australia

Author: Weaver, Timothy B, Ghadiri, Hossein, Hulugalle, Nilantha R, Harden, Stephen

https://research-repository.griffith.edu.au/bitstream/handle/10072/48782/82240_1.pdf?sequence=1

2000-03: Australian Cotton Research Institute Soils (NSW). Pesticides: Endrin, DDT, DDE, DDD, Endosulfan, Endosulfan Sulfate

2000-2003 Australian Cotton Research Institute – Soils

Pesticides detected in soil to a depth of 1.2m: Endrin, DDT, DDE, DDD, Endosulfan, Endosulfan Sulfate

Organochlorine pesticides in soil under irrigated cotton farming systems in Vertisols of the Namoi Valley, north-western New South Wales,Australia

Author: Weaver, Timothy B, Ghadiri, Hossein, Hulugalle, Nilantha R, Harden, Stephen

https://research-repository.griffith.edu.au/bitstream/handle/10072/48782/82240_1.pdf?sequence=1

2002: Namoi Valley (NSW) DDE residues remaining in Soil

2002 – Namoi Valley (NSW) Levels of DDE remaining in soil

Fig. 1.  GIS distribution of DDE residues in Namoi Valley topsoil (0.10 cm). Reproduced with permission from the American Chemical Society (Shivaramaiah et al. 2002). Unwanted legacies such as this justified the transition to chemicals with shorter half-lives, including endosulfan.

https://www.publish.csiro.au/CP/fulltext/CP13091

1997: Wagga Wagga (NSW). Shearers Awarded $613,000 Exposure to OP Pesticide Applied to Sheep

1997 Wagga Wagga (NSW) Health impacts of OP Pesticide on Sheep

p41 “…Statistics for pesticide poisonings do not represent a large percentage of the overall number of injuries that occur in the agricultural industry; however, the cost of some of these claims can be significant. For example, three shearers in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, were awarded $613,144.00 in October 1997 for health effects associated with exposure to OP pesticide applied to sheep (Dips, 2000). There are also growing health and safety concerns, in the industry and the general community regarding the use of pesticides.

Source: https://eprints.qut.edu.au/16345/1/Kelly_Johnstone_Thesis.pdf

Organophosphate Exposure in Australian Agricultural Workers: Human Exposure and Risk Assessment. Kelly Johnstone Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Health and Safety) Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours)

2020 July: Darlington Point (NSW) Spray Drift