WA raid sparks APVMA to recall chemicals

28 May, 2008 10:50 AM
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4Farmers director Phil Patterson said many chemical companies in Australia,
4Farmers director Phil Patterson said many chemical companies in Australia, "big and small", employed the practice of registering imported chemicals using false information.

THE Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority have ordered a compulsory product recall of 52 agricultural chemical products following a recent raid on the offices of a Perth-based company.

The APVMA issued a media release a week ago listing chemical products sold by Imtrade Australia which mainly supplies herbicides, insecticides and fungicides.

On May 8, the APVMA and Australian Federal Police officers executed search warrants at three premises associated with the importer and formulator of agricultural chemicals.

The recall came in effects on May 21 and included typical broadacre crop products such as glyphosate, trifluralin and atrazine.

Imtrade’s web site said it has been operating for "many years" under leading brands such as ChemAg, Imtrade and ChemFarm.

The APVMA alleged false information was provided by Imtrade in its applications for registration of the relevant chemical products.

The APVMA also alleged a manufacturing site nominated by the company did not exist.

"The products are therefore not validly registered and are being recalled," the authority’s release said.

Imtrade managing director Ross Rainbird said he was considering taking legal action against the APVMA over the raid and the product recall.

Mr Rainbird said it was a sensitive issue and he was considering suing the APVMA because he believed the recall was not warranted.

"We make sure that every product we sell is thoroughly tested," Mr Rainbird said.

"A past employee has dobbed us in to the APVMA and we think this action is really unfair.

"In reality it is common practice.

"And if this was not a witch hunt then the APVMA would have to recall every imported chemical product in Australia."

Mr Rainbird sent an email to his distributors on Monday warning of a legal challenge.

"Currently we are applying for a stay of execution of the recall of products with The Court of Arbitration," he said in the email.

"This was filed on Friday 23rd May, and we are hoping for a hearing on Tuesday morning.

"We are obviously very confident of the outcome, however if this fails we will be appealing the decision."

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