Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2020-24, Acephate and Methamidophos

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Pest Management Regulatory Agency
18 August 2020
ISSN: 1925-0843 (PDF version)
Catalogue number: H113-24/2020-24E-PDF (PDF version)

Under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act, Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) granted continued registration of products containing acephate for sale and use in Canada.

Before registering a pesticide for food use in Canada or allowing for continued registration, the PMRA must determine the quantity of residues that are likely to remain in or on the food when the pesticide is used according to label directions and that such residues will not be a concern to human health. This quantity is then legally established as a maximum residue limits (MRL). An MRL applies to the identified raw agricultural food commodity as well as to any processed food product that contains it, except where separate MRLs are specified for the raw agricultural commodity and a processed product made from it.

A dietary risk assessment for acephate and its metabolite methamidophos was conducted for the re-evaluation review and was published in the PRVD2016-01. The re-evaluation review proposed revocations and changes to the MRLs for acephate and methamidophos in order to mitigate health risk concerns, to account for the discontinuation of methamidophos registrations as an active ingredient, and/or to better reflect the supported use pattern for acephate.

The PMRA must determine the quantity of residues that are likely to remain in or on the imported food commodities when fenpyroximate is used according to label directions in the exporting country, and that such residues will not be a concern to human health. This quantity is then legally established as an MRL on the corresponding imported commodity. An MRL applies to the identified raw agricultural food commodity as well as to any processed food product that contains it, except where separate MRLs are specified for the raw agricultural commodity and a processed product made from it.

Specifically, the revocation of acephate and methamidophos MRLs on succulent beans is proposed to mitigate dietary risk concerns from food sources and to account for the phase out of succulent bean use in the United States. No revision to the MRL on dry beans is required. Thus, the food commodity descriptors for the established acephate and methamidophos MRLs for beans are proposed to be revised to the food commodity descriptors for individual dry bean commodities only. The dry bean commodities include: grain lupin, dry kidney beans, dry lima beans, dry navy beans, dry pink beans, dry pinto beans, dry tepary beans, dry beans, dry adzuki beans, dry blackeyed peas, dry catjang seeds, dry cowpea seeds, dry moth beans, dry mung beans, dry rice beans, dry southern peas, dry urad beans, dry broad beans, dry chickpeas, dry guar seeds, and dry lablab beans.

The revocation of the methamidophos MRL on tomatoes is proposed to mitigate dietary risk concerns from food sources. The risk is driven by residues found on imported tomatoes, which is likely the result of methamidophos uses in the past. Quantifiable residues of acephate and methamidophos are not expected in/on tomatoes as a result of the acephate registration as acephate is only applied to tomatoes during the transplanting period.

The revocation of the acephate and methamidophos MRL on potatoes is proposed to mitigate dietary risk concerns from drinking water.

The revocation of methamidophos MRLs on broccoli, cucumber, and eggplants is proposed to account for the discontinuation of methamidophos registrations in Canada and the United States. Acephate is not registered for use on these crops.

The revocation of the acephate and methamidophos MRLs for leaf lettuce is proposed to reflect the use pattern for acephate in Canada. Acephate is only registered for domestic use on head lettuce and not leaf lettuce. Thus, the existing acephate and methamidophos MRLs for lettuce are proposed to be revised to head lettuce.

The revocation of the acephate MRLs for all varieties of corn except sweet corn is proposed to reflect the use pattern for acephate in Canada. Acephate is only registered for domestic use on sweet corn and seed corn and not field corn or popcorn. Thus, the existing acephate MRL for corn is proposed to be revised to sweet corn. A MRL for seed corn is not required as this variety is not used for human consumption. There are no methamidophos MRLs for any corn varieties.

The revocation of the acephate MRL for milk is proposed as crops treated with acephate are prohibited from being fed to livestock. There is no methamidophos MRL for milk.

The proposed MRL revisions are indicated in Table 1.

Table 1 Proposed MRL revisions for acephate and methamidophos
Commodity Current MRL (ppm) Proposed revisionsTable 1 Footnote 2
Acephate Methamidophos Acephate Methamidophos
Beans 1.0 0.3 Revise food commodity descriptor to specific dry bean commoditiesTable 1 Footnote 3 Revise food commodity descriptor to specific dry bean commoditiesTable 1 Footnote 3
Broccoli 0.1Table 1 Footnote 1 1.0 No Revision Revoke MRL
Corn 0.5 0.1Table 1 Footnote 1 Revise food commodity descriptor to Sweet Corn Kernels plus cob with husks removedTable 1 Footnote 4 No Revision
Cucumbers 0.1Table 1 Footnote 1 0.5 No Revision Revoke MRL
Eggplants 0.1Table 1 Footnote 1 0.5 No Revision Revoke MRL
Lettuce 1.0 1.0 Revise food commodity descriptor to Head Lettuce Revise food commodity descriptor to Head Lettuce
Milk 0.05 0.1Table 1 Footnote 1 Revoke MRL No Revision
Potatoes 0.5 0.1 Revoke MRL Revoke MRL
Tomatoes 0.1Table 1 Footnote 1 0.5 No Revision Revoke MRL
Table 1 Footnote 1

Residues are regulated under Subsection B.15.002 (1) of the Food and Drugs Act. This requires that residues do not exceed 0.1 ppm and has been considered a general MRL for enforcement purposes.

Table 1 Return to footnote 1 referrer

Table 1 Footnote 2

As all methamidophos uses are discontinued, the MRLs for methamidophos will be modified to account for acephate uses only. Therefore, the residue definition for acephate for enforcement purposes will change to acephate (O,S-dimethyl acetylphosphoramidothioate) and methamidophos (O,S-dimethyl phosphoramidothioate) with individual MRLs listed for each compound.

Table 1 Return to footnote 2 referrer

Table 1 Footnote 3

Specific dry bean commodities include: grain lupin, dry kidney beans, dry lima beans, dry navy beans, dry pink beans, dry pinto beans, dry tepary beans, dry beans, dry adzuki beans, dry blackeyed peas, dry catjang seeds, dry cowpea seeds, dry moth beans, dry mung beans, dry rice beans, dry southern peas, dry urad beans, dry broad beans, dry chickpeas, dry guar seeds, and dry lablab beans.

Table 1 Return to footnote 3 referrer

Table 1 Footnote 4

PRVD2016-01 indicates the change as "sweet corn kernels plus cob with husks". The correct food commodity descriptor is "sweet corn kernels plus cob with husks removed".

Table 1 Return to footnote 4 referrer

Following the revocation of acephate and/or methamidophos MRLs for the commodities indicated above, residues will be regulated under subsection B.15.002(1) of the Food and Drug Regulations, which requires that residues not exceed 0.1 ppm. Consultation on the revocation of these MRLs is being conducted via this document.

To comply with Canada's international trade obligations, consultation on the proposed MRLs is also being conducted internationally by notifying the World Trade Organization, as coordinated by Canada's Notification Authority and Enquiry Point.

International situation and trade implications

MRLs may vary from one country to another for a number of reasons, including differences in pesticide use patterns and the locations of the crop field trials used to generate residue chemistry data.

Table 2 and 3 compares the MRLs proposed for fenpyroximate in Canada with corresponding American tolerances and Codex MRLs.Footnote 1 American tolerances are listed inthe Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, 40 CFR Part 180, by pesticide. A listing of established Codex MRLs is available on the Codex Alimentarius Pesticide Index webpage, by pesticide or commodity.

Table 2 Comparison of Canadian MRLs, American Tolerances and Codex MRLs (where different)
Food commodity Canadian MRL (ppm) American Tolerance (ppm) Codex MRL (ppm)
Beans 1.0 (dry bean commodities) 3.0 (bean, dry, seed) 5.0 (beans, except broad and soya bean)
Corn 0.5 (sweet corn) Not established Not established
Leaf Lettuce Revoke 1.0 ppm MRL Not established Not established
Head Lettuce 1.0 10 Not established
Milk Revoke 0.05 ppm MRL 0.1 0.02
Potatos Revoke 0.5 ppm MRLTable 2 Footnote 1 Not established Not established
Table 2 Footnote 1

Following the revocation of the MRLs, all crops will be regulated under subsection B.15.002 (1) of the Food and Drug Regulations, which requires that residues do not exceed 0.1 ppm.

Table 2 Return to footnote 1 referrer

Table 3 Comparison of Canadian MRLs, American Tolerances, and Codex MRLs for methamidophos
Food commodity Canadian MRL (ppm) American Tolerance (ppm) Codex MRL (ppm)
Beans 0.3 (dry bean commodities) 1.0 (bean, dry, seed) 1.0 (beans, except broad bean and soya bean)
Broccoli Revoke 1.0 ppm MRLTable 3 Footnote 1 Not established Not established
Cucumbers Revoke 0.5 ppm MRLTable 3 Footnote 1 Not established Not established
Eggplants Revoke 0.5 ppm MRLTable 3 Footnote 1 Not established Not established
Leaf Lettuce Revoke 1.0 ppm MRLTable 3 Footnote 1 Not established Not established
Head Lettuce 1.0 1.0 Not established
Potatoes Revoke 0.1 ppm MRLTable 3 Footnote 1 Not established 0.05
Tomatoes Revoke 0.5 ppm MRLTable 3 Footnote 1 Not established Not established
Table 3 Footnote 1

Following the revocation of the MRLs, all crops will be regulated under subsection B.15.002(1) of the Food and Drug Regulations, which requires that residues do not exceed 0.1 ppm.

Table 3 Return to footnote 1 referrer

Next steps

The PMRA invites the public to submit written comments on the proposed revisions and revocations of MRLs for acephate and methamidophos up to 75 days from the date of publication of this document. Please forward your comments to Publications. The PMRA will consider all comments received before making a final decision on the proposed revisions and revocations of MRLs. Comments received will be addressed in a separate document linked to this PMRL. The established MRLs will be legally in effect as of the date that they are entered into the Maximum Residue Limit Database. The revocation of MRLs will take effect to allow sufficient time for legally treated commodities to clear the channels of trade.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

The Codex Alimentarius Commission is an international organization under the auspices of the United Nations that develops international food standards, including MRLs.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

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