What is a Registered Pesticide?
A registered pesticide is one that has been registered under the Pesticides Act 1978 for a specified use pattern (for example, to control heliothis caterpillars in cotton, or powdery mildew on roses). You may only use a pesticide for its specified use pattern, which is set out on the container label.
Registration safeguards the community by:
- ensuring proper evaluation of products before their release;
- providing us with an approved label which has all necessary directions
and warnings for safe and effective use of the product.
Why Must Pesticide Containers Bear a Registered Label?
The instructions on the label are designed to prevent misuse, avoid damage or injury to humans, crops and the environment, and prevent unacceptable residues in food.
The pesticide label is a legally binding document and must not be changed, damaged or removed from the container. Users must read, or have read to them, all details and instructions on the label, and must follow these instructions. People who cannot read English will need to have label directions explained to them, as they are not excused from complying with the law.
Any use other than that on the label (except as allowed by permit or pesticide order) is illegal and could expose users and others to hazards.
Does Registration Make a Pesticide Safer To Use?
No, but it does determine what instructions will go on the label as to how, when and where the pesticide may be used, and what precautions must be taken. It is then up to the users to ensure safe and effective application by following these instructions. Pesticides can be hazardous, and may cause damage if used in a manner which has not been carefully checked and approved.
What Requirements Must Be Met Before a Pesticide Can Be Registered?
Before a pesticide can be registered, the government organisations concerned must receive satisfactory answers to many questions.
- What happens to the product after it is applied?
- Does it break down to natural products such as carbon dioxide and water?
- Does it accumulate in the soil or the plant?
- Is it present in the crop after harvesting?
- Does it have any harmful effects on non-target animals
(including birds and fish)?
- Does it pose any threat to human health?
- Does it control the target pest without harming the crop?
The pesticide manufacturer must do all necessary testing to answer these questions then submit the results to Federal Government regulatory bodies for scientific review. Once clearance on these aspects has been given, the manufacturer can apply to State regulatory authorities for registration of the product.
What Must Be Checked Before a Pesticide is Registered for a Particular Use?
Before a pesticide can be registered for a particular use, the manufacturer must satisfy the Registrar that, provided the pesticide is applied at the rate and in the manner specified on the label.
- Be effective - for example, that it will control a target pest;
- Not damage non-target plants;
- Not leave unacceptable residues in harvested grain, in plants or stubble
that could later be eaten by livestock, or in the soil;
- Not harm wildlife that may visit the target crop or eat the target pest;
- Not harm those handling and applying it.