The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) last night suspended use of the widely used horticultural chemical dimethoate. The suspension will be in place for 12 months from 06/10/11, and applies to all produce grown in home gardens as well as many commercial crops.
Sold under trade names including Lebaycid and Rogor, dimethoate is an organophosphate that is routinely applied to fruiting plants to control Queensland fruit fly and other pest insects. The APVMA has been studying the health effects of the chemical for a number of months. It imposed the suspension after finding that allowable usage levels of dimethoate could exceed the recommended public health standard, creating potential dietary risks for consumers exposed to the chemical.
Certified Organic controls for Queensland fruit fly and other insects are commonly available and have been sucessfully used in both commercial orchards and home gardens for a number of years. Based on the naturally occuring insectide spinosad, the products can be applied as a spot spray, a cover spray, or as a splash bait to stations placed in strategic locations in the garden. Exclusion bags and fine weave netting products are also available. For more info on organic fruit fly control, ask at your local nursery or check out the Organic Gardener Essential Guide to Fruit. The guide can be purchased through our callcentre.
By: Justin Russell
First published: October 2011