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Brazil's Anvisa decides to ban carbofuran

Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) has decreed a ban on Carbofuran, which is used as an insecticide , termite, acaricide, and nematicide for application on several vegetables, fruits, and grain.

After the publication of the resolution, all types of use of the product will be prohibited. There will be a deadline of three months to end production, imports, and sales of the agrochemicals, based on this ingredient.

The exceptions are banana, coffee and sugarcane crops, which will have a deadline of six months to discontinue the use. The decision was announced at the last Ordinary Public Meeting of the Collegiate Directorship of Anvisa, held on Tuesday, October 10, after the end of the toxicological evaluation started in 2008.

According to Anvisa, the active ingredient was studied exhaustively by the agency and its prohibition was discussed with the regulated sector and the society. “The mode of action of Carbofuran is not species-specific, affecting also the non-target species, such as human beings,” explained Anvisa.

“After all the analysis, Anvisa has concluded that the regular use of Carbofuran results in levels of residue on food—and mostly on water—that represent acute dietary risk for the Brazilian population with neuro-toxic effects and has the potential of causing toxicity in the development of human beings in real exposition conditions, which include functional and behavioral teratogenic. These characteristics do not fit in with the prohibitive criteria of the Law 7,802/1989, known as the Law of Pesticides, besides the Law 9,782/1999, created by Anvisa,” the regulatory body said.

“It is highlighted that the unacceptable risk of Carbofuran to human health through exposition from food and water was also the motive behind the prohibition of this active ingredient in Canada, the United States and Europe, among other countries. Therefore, the suggestion of prohibition of the use of Carbofuran in Brazil is aligned with the conclusions of regulatory agencies worldwide about this product,” Anvisa concluded.

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