New residue level rules mean dimethoate now banned for vegetable crops

From next week growers will not be able to use the insecticide dimethoate on certain vegetable crops - including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and lettuce.

This is because the European Commission has set lower maximum residue levels (MRLs) for dimethoate on a range of crops - meaning that there are now some imminent changes to the label recommendations for BASF Dimethoate 40 (MAFF 00199) and Dimethoate 40 (MAPP 13949).

The new MRLs come into force from 7 June 2010 but use of these products on these crops is being suspended from 16 April to ensure that treated produce has made its way through the supply chain.

BASF is part of the Dimethoate Task Force, which is comprised of chemical manufacturers, that is addressing the use of the insecticide dimethoate on these affected crops. It hopes to remove the suspensions by the 2011 season.

All other uses of BASF Dimethoate 40 and Dimethoate 40 on sugar beet, fodder beet, mangels, red beet, herbage seed crops, ornamental plant production, winter wheat, spring wheat, winter rye, spring rye and triticale remain unchanged.

BASF field vegetable product manager Robert Storer reassured growers that the MRL change is just part of the ongoing European Commission harmonisation process. "It's a bureaucratic issue not a safety issue," he said.


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