EPA seeks submissions on Bayer’s bid to ramp up fungicide use

New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority is seeking submissions on Bayer’s application to amend rules for use of two fungicide products.

In its call for submissions, the Environmental Protection Authority, (EPA) suggests that “locally-grown stone fruit and greenhouse vegetables may get tastier” if the rules governing the current recommended use of German chemical and biotech company Bayer’s Luna Privilege and Luna Sensation, are amended. Both products contain fluopyram, and Luna Privilege also contains trifloxystrobin.

News reports indicate that in 2015, the same product was possibly linked to  crop damage in vineyards across Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Switzerland. In 2016, Reuters News Agency reported Bayer CFO’s announcement that the company had set aside 32 million euro in Q3 for future payments to wine growers for damage related to Luna Privilege fungicide use.

Bayer has applied to EPA to allow New Zealand farmers to  double the maximum application rate per hectare of the two fungicides and allow them to be applied to a wider range of crops than originally designed for, more frequently. Bayer says that by amending the application rules, Luna Privilege could be used to treat greenhouse-grown vegetables such as aubergines, capsicums and chilli, and Luna Sensation could be used to treat stone fruits.

The applicant is seeking approval to amend the control on the maximum application rate, number and timing of applications to a maximum application rate of Luna Privilege from 300 mL/ha,  to 600 mL/ha (300g fluopyram/ha) per application with a maximum of two applications per year with an interval of at least 7 days between applications; and to increase the maximum permitted application rate of Luna Sensation from 37.5 to 150 fluopyram and 150 g trifloxystrobin/ha, to increase the number of application per year from 2 to 3, and change the interval between applications from 10 to 7 days, in order to extend the use of Luna Sensation from grapes to stone fruits.

Click here to view the application details and information.

Click here to make a submission

Public submissions on this application open on 16 June 2017 and close at 5pm on 28 July 2017.