EPA seeks information as it reviews the rules on hydrogen cyanamide

The Environmental Protection Authority  is initiating a reassessment of the plant growth regulator hydrogen cyanamide and seeks  information on how and where it is being used in New Zealand.

Hydrogen cyanamide products are used mainly by orchardists, particularly kiwifruit and apple growers, to promote bud formation.

Six hydrogen cyanamide products are registered with NZ Food Safety at the Ministry of Primary Industries. They are:

Hortcare Hi-break
Synergy HC
Gro-Chem HC-50

These products are restricted to commercial use only.

In September 2019 an EPA decision-making committee decided there are grounds to reassess this substance on the basis that significant new information relating to the hazards and risks of the substance is contained in a report published by the European Food Safety Authority.

The EPA accordingly will reassess hydrogen cyanamide.

A reassessment is the formal review under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO), of the rules controlling a substance that is already in use in New Zealand. Hydrogen cyanamide was last reassessed in 2006.

“It is important that we now put the call out for New Zealand specific data and information relating to the use of hydrogen cyanamide. By building a detailed understanding of both the positive and adverse effects of a substance, we can ensure that we have the best available information upon which to make a decision under the HSNO Act,” says Acting General Manager of the EPA’s Hazardous Substances and New Organisms group, Gayle Holmes.

“We are seeking specific relevant information, from manufacturers, importers, and industry users as well as the public.

“We want to know how hydrogen cyanamide is being used, the frequency and scale of its use, and the specific mitigation measures that are currently in practice. All the information we gather will inform our reassessment application, which will then enter the statutory reassessment process.”

Reassessments are determined by a decision-making committee, which is made up of members of the EPA’s HSNO Committee. The outcome of reassessments can range from no change to the rules (controls) of use, modifications to controls, restrictions, to revocations of substance approvals.

The EPA says it welcomes any information on uses of the substance that people are aware of.

Submissions close at 5 pm, Thursday 30 April.

The consultation page can be read  HERE. 

Source:  Environmental Protection Authority

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog

Leave a Reply