Industry Exclusive - The Latest on Chlorothalonil & Iprodione

12.08.18 health.canada.logoposted Sep 28, 2016

Earlier this year, the Western Canada Turfgrass Association positioned itself to help lead advocacy efforts directed at two very important golf course turf management fungicides, chloroathonil and iprodione, both up for re-evaluation by Health Canada PMRA. 

Involvement began in April with WCTA Director Jim Ross participating in a PMRA hosted informational webinar.  Over 100 stakeholders from various organizations attended including Canadian Horticulture Council, BC Fruit Growers Association, Flowers Canada, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Western Forest Products, among others, and various government agencies. 

The webinar provided details on the revised health risk assessment for chlorothalonil including assumptions and information the PMRA used to amend the proposed re-evaluation decision (which was to cancel all turf uses except for a single late fall application for snow mold control).  It was also an opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions and for the PMRA to explain the nature of additional information needed to help refine the risk assessment.

With key considerations revealed at the meeting, legwork could begin.  Jim worked on crafting submissions for both active ingredients (chlorthalonil first, then iprodione) while staff initiated contact with government agencies in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan to ensure all levels of government were coordinated.

At the same time, WCTA let Allied Golf Association of BC member groups know that re-evaluations were taking place, recommending AGA-BC consider making a submission.  By June, a draft chlorothalonil response and explanatory letter was circulated to the AGA Board for review and the Environmental Advocacy Committee took on the role of creating AGA-BC’s submission(s).  Excerpt from the June 9th AGA meeting minutes follow:

8.6 Chlorothalonil Response Letter – on Wednesday, June 8th, Jerry Rousseau circulated information and a draft letter for submission to PMRA Health Canada in regards to the proposed new restrictions of an important and common fungicide for the golf industry, chlorothalonil.

MOTION by Jerry Rousseau to submit chorothalonil letter as presented to Health Canada, could not be made without quorum and as such was later made via email, seconded by Jamie Robb, and carried. The letter was submitted by the deadline of June 10th and Jamie noted the BCGSA and Capilano have sent submissions as well.  Jerry further distributed the AGA-BC’s submission to Jeff Calderwood as the NAGA representative for their reference and hope they have also made a submission.

The BCGSA, AGSA and Saskatchewan Turfgrass Association were also contacted in hopes each provincial association would participate in the public feedback component.  Worth noting is that the first golf industry submission was made by the Ontario Golf Superintendents Association.  Their initial work was extremely helpful for other submissions that followed.  Working with the CGSA, the WCTA had an opportunity to review and comment on their letter prior to submission. 

Collaborative efforts have had a positive impact 
WCTA staff continued communication efforts with the PMRA and received the following update September 21st:

Hello again Jerry,

Here's the update you requested on the re-evaluations of chlorothalonil and iprodione.

As you know, the re-evaluation consultation documents for these two chemicals were published earlier this year with the consultation periods ending in June and July respectively. The PMRA has received a significant number of comments and information in response to these two documents and is currently reviewing this information.

As mentioned in the documents, PMRA will consider all comments received from the public before making  final re-evaluation decisions for chlorothalonil and iprodione.

As such, a final re-evaluation decision for these chemicals is not anticipated until March of 2018. For that reason, the proposed labelling requirements are not being implemented at this time and labels are unaffected until a final decision is made. For the time being, all chlorothalonil and iprodione-based pesticides be used according to the current product labels.

I trust this is satisfactory.

Robert Martin
Regulatory Information Officer / Agent d'information sur la réglementation

Upon reviewing the PMRA’s response, WCTA President Jason Pick stated, “The news is positive for golf course superintendents, for now, and we’re glad to have made an impact at such a high level.  The WCTA will continue directing resources toward golf and sportsturf management advocacy efforts.” He added, “It’s especially gratifying to share successes like this with so many other groups.  A common goal has brought us together and our efforts have made a big difference.”