The management of fruit fly in Australian horticulture is challenging, not least as a consequence of recent domestic and international regulatory actions, impacting the use of a number of insecticides.
Kevin Bodnaruk, an expert in the area of pesticide regulation and risk assessment, conducted a study to provide a perspective on the mounting regulatory pressures on insecticides currently approved for in-crop use in Australia to manage fruit fly (Tephritidae).
While the focus of the analysis was primarily on highlighting current regulatory trends and their impacts internationally on the authorisations of fruit fly insecticides, it also highlights the potential relevance of these trends in an Australian regulatory context.
“The report provides insight into key regulatory pressures with the potential to negatively impact the ongoing access to insecticides currently approved for in-field fruit fly management in Australia,” said Dr Mila Bristow, National Manager, Performance & Innovation at Plant Health Australia (PHA).
It was found that the primary means of in-crop fruit fly management, at the farmer and state quarantine level, are several insecticides most at risk from regulatory pressures in the next three to five years.
The timeframes below relate to potential impacts on access to the respective insecticides. These impacts could be direct, for example loss of authorisation in Australia, or indirect through the loss of authorisation and relevant trade facilitating standards in key export markets.
Of note is the apparent reliance upon the use of potentially problematic insecticides as either cover or bait sprays to assure fruit fly free status under Interstate Certification Assurance schemes in Australia.