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EPA make right decision on three toxic organophosphates

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA NZ) has made the right decision on the reassessment of three toxic organophosphates. The Vegetable Research and Innovation Board (VRIB) applied to the EPA to reassess a 2012 decision to phase out diazinon by 2028 and fenamiphos and methamidophos by 2023. The VRIB reassessment called on the EPA to extend the period for a further ten years, until 2033.


The EPA declined the reassessment and ruled that diazinon is to be phase out by 2028 and fenamiphos and methamidophos by 2024. [1]


“We congratulate the NZ Environmental Protection Authority for this decision,” said Claire Bleakley of GE Free NZ.


These pesticides have been found to cause serious adverse effects to human health, especially related to neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity to the endocrine, reproductive systems and foetal development. Diazinon is already banned in 39 countries, fenamiphos in 35 and methamidophos in 109 [2].


“We are very pleased to finally have the end of these damaging pesticides in sight,” said Alison White of Safe Food Campaign.


“These organophosphates, like others still registered, are notorious for their effects on the nervous system, especially in young children who take in more of them from their food than other age groups.”

Organic farming has long been able to farm without synthetic chemicals and it is time that farmers were supported to introduce organic methods to deal with challenges instead of using these toxic chemicals.


“If we change even a small proportion of agricultural production to best practice organic systems, we could reduce the pesticide pollution in our food and environment. We don’t need or want these pesticides,” said Alison White.


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