3 October 2000
Pesticide makers welcome OP ruling

By FWi staff

PESTICIDE manufacturers have welcomed a recommendation by government advisors that an organophosphate (OP) insecticide is safe for home use.

As part of an on-going review of OP products, the Advisory Committee on Pesticides said products containing chlorpyrifos can safely be used by consumers.

These are used mainly as crack and crevice treatment to control species such as ants and cockroaches.

Now Dow AgroSciences hopes this recommendation will influence the final decision on the continued approval of chlorpyrifos products.

The agricultural and horticultural form of chlorpyrifos – Dursban 4 – is used on fruit, vegetables, cereals and grasslands to control pests.

OPs have been the subject of controversy with claims they can damage the nervous system and cause birth defects.

Dow insecticide marketing specialist James Knight said: “A significant body of data was presented to the ACP and they have given a clean bill of health.

“I think this recommendation is an indication of the quality of the data package, and I am pleased that the ACP has done a thorough job based on science.

Mr Knight refused to speculate on a wider decision on chlorpyrifos use, but said he was hopeful that the committee would be impressed with data presented.

But Peter Beaumont of the Pesticides Action Network was unhappy with the decision given the safety concerns surrounding OPs.

He added that it also ran contrary to the modern trend of moving away from broad-spectrum pesticides to more targeted chemicals.

A decision of the health and environmental impact of chlorpyrifos will be made at a later date.