Chemical users should only use AgVet chemicals that are registered by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). The supply and/or use of unregistered agricultural chemicals is an offence and carries significant penalties.
A searchable database of registered chemicals in Australia can be found on the APVMA website.
Registered chemical advantages
Registered agricultural chemicals have passed a rigorous testing program that ensures the products are fit for their intended use. In addition to efficacy testing to ensure that products do what is claimed to do, registered chemical products have also passed a barrage of environmental tests, safety tests, and toxicity tests to ensure that appropriate product label controls can be implemented to manage identified risks. Manufacturers of registered chemical products also provide a warranty when their products are used according to the label instructions.
Reasons not to use unregistered chemicals
Growers should have a number of concerns regarding the use of unregistered agricultural chemicals, including:
- Impacting on public and human health through potential contaminants and other unknown substances in the product.
- Both the supply and use of unregistered agricultural chemicals are offences carrying significant penalties.
- The actual ingredients in an unregistered product may differ from what is claimed and there is no warranty if the product is faulty.
- Contaminants in unregistered chemical products can leave unacceptable residues in a crop or commodity being treated which can subsequently have the potential to exclude growers from vital markets. Contaminants can also cause crops to fail or impact on the environment and animal welfare.
- Laboratory analysis for AgVet chemical residue is available and continually improving and can detect unregistered chemicals in produce. There is a high chance that any such use will be identified – and investigated by Agriculture Victoria.