Hort-crop chemicals clear cross-border approval

Fruit, veg growers get expanded label uses for three Bayer wares

A slimmed-down federal approval process will allow Canadian fruit and vegetable growers some expanded uses of an insecticide and two fungicides this spring.

Bayer CropScience on Tuesday credited recent "regulatory synchronization" between Canada and the U.S. for the expanded labels on Admire insecticide and Reason and Flint fungicides, covering uses for which the products were already approved in the U.S.

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) in the past five years has modified how product registrants can satisfy their data requirements, Bayer said. A "zonal approach" may now be used allowing U.S. data to be submitted in a Canadian registration.

"This gives the industry a greater opportunity to address the technology gap between the U.S. and Canada," Bayer said, citing "co-ordinated efforts by all stakeholders" including the PMRA, Pest Management Advisory Council (PMAC), Canadian Horticulture Council, regulatory bodies, grower groups and ag chem companies.

Several new processes such as joint review registrations have allowed Bayer CropScience’s fruit and vegetable team to share registration data with colleagues in the U.S. for a "quicker, more comprehensive review, which has increased the opportunity to obtain many of the same use patterns for both U.S. and Canadian growers."

The imidacloprid (Group 4) insecticide Admire, for example, has been approved for 17 years for use in Canadian potato crops, and the label has expanded over time to cover its use in ginseng, brassica leafy vegetables and highbush blueberries.

However, the new "technology gap" expansion of the Admire label means Canadian growers may now apply Admire on multiple crops from the same crop groups, such as all pome fruit instead of apples alone, Bayer said Tuesday.

Furthermore, a new "national" label allows growers from coast to coast to use Admire on the same crops, where its uses have previously been restricted by region.

Admire is also now cleared in Canada to protect against leafhoppers on berries and small fruit, including grapes.

The Canadian label for Flint — a Group 11 trifloxystrobin fungicide previously registered for control of powdery mildew, scab and rust on crops such as pome fruit, grapes, cherries and hazelnuts — will now expand to cover its use on strawberries against powdery mildew, and on asparagus against stemphyllium purple spot and rust.

Reason 500SC, a Group 11 fenamidone fungicide, may now also be used as a foliar fungicide on tomatoes and turnip greens for control of diseases like late and early blight and downy mildew, the company said.

“Canada’s historical regulatory approach to satisfying registration requirements often meant Canadian growers were sometimes restricted from using the same products available to their U.S. counterparts,” David Kikkert, Bayer’s Canadian portfolio manager for horticulture, said in the company’s release.

“Closing the technology gap between the U.S. and Canada is an important aspect of the registration process,” he added. “We are committed to capturing regulatory opportunities to further enable Canadian growers to participate in a strong and competitive fruit and vegetable market.”

Related story:
Fungicide-resistant apple scab arrives in Ont., Feb. 21, 2010

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