Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2021-05, Thiabendazole

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Pest Management Regulatory Agency
18 February 2021
ISSN: 1925-0843 (PDF version)
Catalogue number: H113-24/2021-5E-PDF (PDF version)

Under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act, Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is proposing to establish maximum residue limits (MRLs) for thiabendazole on bananas, mangoes and papayas to permit the import and sale of foods containing such residues.

Thiabendazole is a fungicide currently registered in Canada for use as a postharvest treatment of pome fruits and as a seed treatment for soybean, corn, dry beans and peas, chickpeas, and lentils.

The PMRA must determine the quantity of residues that are likely to remain in or on the imported food commodities when thiabendazole 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.

Consultation on the proposed MRLs for thiabendazole is being conducted via this document (see Next Steps). A summary of the field trial data used to support the proposed MRLs can be found in Appendix I.

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

The proposed MRLs, to replace or be added to the MRLs already established for thiabendazole, are as follows.

Table 1 Proposed maximum residue limits for thiabendazole
Common name Residue definition MRL
(ppm)Table 1 Footnote 1
Food commodity
Thiabendazole 2-(4-thiazolyl)-1H-benzimidazole 10 Mangoes, papayas
9.0 BananasTable 1 Footnote 2

MRLs established in Canada may be found using the Maximum Residue Limit Database on the Maximum Residue Limits for Pesticides webpage. The database allows users to search for established MRLs, regulated under the Pest Control Products Act, both for pesticides or for food commodities.

International situation and trade implications

Table 2 compares the MRLs proposed for thiabendazole in Canada with corresponding American tolerances and Codex MRLs.Footnote 1 American tolerances are listed in the 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
American Tolerance
Codex MRL
Bananas 9.0 3.0 5
Mangoes 10 10.0 5
Papayas 10 5.0 10

Next steps

The PMRA invites the public to submit written comments on the proposed MRLs for thiabendazole 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 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.

Appendix I

Summary of field trial data used to support the proposed maximum residue limits

Residue data for thiabendazole in bananas, mangoes and papayas were submitted to support the maximum residue limits on these imported crops.

Maximum residue limits

The recommendation for maximum residue limits (MRLs) for thiabendazole was based upon the residues observed in crop commodities treated according to label directions in the exporting countries, and the guidance provided in the OECD MRL Calculator. Table A1 summarizes the residue data used to calculate the proposed MRLs for imported bananas, mangoes and papayas.

Table A1 Summary of field trial data used to support the MRLs
Commodity Application method/Total application rate
Lowest average field trial residues
Highest average field trial residues
Bananas Postharvest dip treatment/880–900 1.5 5.5
Mangoes Postharvest dip treatment/2500 2.4 4.5
Papayas Postharvest dip treatment/2000 2.5 3.3
ppm = parts per million

Following the review of all available data, MRLs as proposed in Table 1 are recommended to cover residues of thiabendazole. Residues of thiabendazole in these imported crop commodities at the proposed MRLs will not pose an unacceptable risk to any segment of the population, including infants, children, adults and seniors.

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