The Liberal Morrison Government has moved to prohibit the export of the pesticide phorate, after the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention identified it as dangerous to human health and the environment.
On 9 July 2020, the Governor-General agreed to the recommendation from Assistant Minister for Customs, the Hon. Jason Wood MP to amend the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 to add the pesticide to Australia’s list of prohibited chemicals in Schedule 2 of those Regulations.
“Data obtained under the Rotterdam Convention confirms phorate can cause health problems including complex neurological clinical manifestations in humans,” Assistant Minister Wood said.
In addition to the health risks to agricultural workers, there have been reports of significant danger to wildlife following deaths of birds and mammals in Canada, the USA, the UK and Northern Ireland.
“This is an important reform that will help protect farmers, consumers and wildlife from a dangerous chemical,” Assistant Minister Wood said.
The Department of Home Affairs worked closely with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to implement this change which came into force on 11 July 2020. The Rotterdam Convention is an agreement between more than 160 countries around the world to regulate dangerous chemicals and pesticides in order to protect people and the environment.
Australia ratified the Convention in May 2004.