Fenthion review extended to July 31

The pesticide fenthion is used to control mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly), which has infested areas in the Swan, Mundaring, Kalamunda, Gosnells, Armadale and Serpentine Jarrahdale councils.

The committee has investigated the impact of fenthion restrictions in orchards since December.

The chemical is being reviewed by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), which has found that it could pose health risks.

The authority has granted WA growers temporary usage permits during its review, but is likely to ban fenthion next month. Groups of Hills stonefruit growers and Swan Valley grape growers have fought an outright ban, saying a staged transition away from fenthion could save their livelihoods.

Two weeks ago, Summerfruit Australia joined them, with a public statement calling for the Senate committee to recommend a two to three-year phase-out.

The Senate committee was due to make its report on June 25, but was granted an extension ending last Wednesday.

However, last Wednesday it asked for and was granted another extension until July 31.