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Pest Management Regulatory Agency
25 November 2011
ISSN: 1925-0886 (PDF version)
Catalogue number: H113-9/2011-23E-PDF (PDF version)
This page is a summary of the consultation document. If you would like to comment, please request the full consultation document.
To obtain a full copy of Proposed Registration Decision PRD2011-23, Oriental Mustard Seed Meal please contact our publications office.
Should you require further information please contact the Pest Management Information Service.
Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act and Regulations, is proposing full registration for the sale and use of MPT Mustard Seed Meal Technical and MPT Crop Biofumigant, containing the technical grade active ingredient oriental mustard seed meal, to suppress soil-borne nematodes and fungi pathogens on strawberries and caneberries.
An evaluation of available scientific information found that, under the approved conditions of use, the product has value and does not present an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.
This summary describes the key points of the evaluation, while the Science Evaluation of Proposed Registration Decision PRD2011-23, Oriental Mustard Seed Meal provides detailed technical information on the human health, environmental and value assessments of MPT Mustard Seed Meal Technical and MPT Crop Biofumigant.
The key objective of the Pest Control Products Act is to prevent unacceptable risks to people and the environment from the use of pest control products. Health or environmental risk is considered acceptable if there is reasonable certainty that no harm to human health, future generations or the environment will result from use or exposure to the product under its proposed conditions of registration. The Act also requires that products have value when used according to the label directions. Conditions of registration may include special precautionary measures on the product label to further reduce risk.
To reach its decisions, the PMRA applies modern, rigorous risk-assessment methods and policies. These methods consider the unique characteristics of sensitive subpopulations in humans (for example, children) as well as organisms in the environment (for example, those most sensitive to environmental contaminants). These methods and policies also consider the nature of the effects observed and the uncertainties when predicting the impact of pesticides. For more information, please refer to the following:
Before making a final registration decision on oriental mustard seed meal, the PMRA will consider all comments received from the public in response to Proposed Registration Decision PRD2011-23, Oriental Mustard Seed Meal. The PMRA will then publish a Registration Decision on oriental mustard seed meal, which will include the decision, the reasons for it, a summary of comments received on the proposed final registration decision and the PMRA's response to these comments.
For more details on the information presented in this summary, please refer to the Science Evaluation of Proposed Registration Decision PRD2011-23, Oriental Mustard Seed Meal.
Seed meal derived from oriental mustard (Brassica juncea) is the leftover seed tissue resulting from the extraction of mustard oil. Oriental mustard seed meal contains high levels of glucosinolates, which hydrolyze into isothiocyanates, volatile compounds chemically related to the active ingredients found in fumigants such as metam sodium (methyl isothiocyanate). Oriental mustard seed meal is the technical grade active ingredient present in MPT Crop Biofumigant, which is used to suppress soil-borne nematodes and fungal pathogens on strawberries and caneberries.
Oriental Mustard Seed Meal is unlikely to affect human health when it is used according to label directions.
Exposure to oriental mustard seed meal may occur when handling and applying the end-use product, which has a proposed agricultural use as a biofumigant to suppress soil-borne nematodes and fungi pre-planting and post-planting for strawberries and caneberries. When assessing health risks, two key factors are considered: the levels where no health effects occur and the levels to which people may be exposed. The dose levels used to assess risks are established to protect the most sensitive human population (for example, children and nursing mothers). Only uses for which the exposure is well below levels that cause no effects in animal testing are considered acceptable for registration.
The technical grade active ingredient, oriental mustard seed meal, is of low acute toxicity by the oral and dermal routes, is mildly irritating to the eyes and slightly irritating to the skin. It is a potential respiratory irritant and a skin sensitizer. Mustard is also considered to be a priority allergen by Health Canada. Cautionary statements alerting users to the potential for eye and respiratory irritation, skin sensitization and allergenicity are required on product labels.
Dermal and inhalation exposure is possible for occupational workers handling or applying the end-use product, MPT Crop Biofumigant, and for post-application workers. Therefore, personal protective equipment is required on the end-use product label to mitigate such exposure concerns. A restricted-entry interval will also be required on the label, restricting access to the treated fields for bystanders and workers for 24 hours after application. Bystander exposure will also be mitigated by keeping unprotected individuals out of the treatment areas for the duration of the treatment period.
Waivers and additional information obtained from the public domain were deemed adequate to address the potential for short-term toxicity, prenatal developmental toxicity, and genotoxicity.
Dietary risks from food and water are not of concern.
Mustard is used for culinary purposes worldwide, and its degradation product allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) is used as a food additive as a flavouring agent, and as an antispoilage agent. The end-use product, MPT Crop Biofumigant, is not applied directly to food crops, and both oriental mustard seed meal and AITC are expected to rapidly degrade in the soil environment. Therefore, exposure from residues in food is likely to be minimal. Correspondingly, the presence of oriental mustard seed meal and AITC in drinking water is also expected to be negligible. In turn, the PMRA has determined that the establishment of a maximum residue limit is not required for oriental mustard seed meal.
Occupational risks are not of concern when MPT Crop Biofumigant is used according to label directions, which include protective measures.
Occupational exposure to individuals loading or applying MPT Crop Biofumigant is not expected to result in unacceptable risk when the product is used according to label directions.
Precautionary (for example, wearing of personal protective equipment) and hygiene statements on the label are considered adequate to protect individuals from any unnecessary risk due to occupational exposure.
Oriental mustard seed meal and the associated secondary compound AITC are derived from a naturally occurring substance. Based on our knowledge of oriental mustard seed meal and AITC, they are not expected to build-up in the environment. When used as per the label directions, as a soil fumigant, the product is expected to pose a minimal risk to non-target organisms.
MPT Crop Biofumigant is a non-conventional biofumigant that suppresses economically important nematodes and fungal pathogens on strawberries and caneberries.
Fungal diseases suppressed by MPT Crop Biofumigant include red stele (Phytophthora fragariae) on strawberries and phytophthora root rot (Phytophthora rubi) on caneberries. Root lesion nematodes (Pratyclenchus penetrans) will also be suppressed on both strawberries and caneberries. MPT Crop Biofumigant represents a non-conventional alternative that may improve disease management while reducing the reliance on conventional chemistries.
Labels of registered pesticide products include specific instructions for use. Directions include risk-reduction measures to protect human and environmental health. These directions must be followed by law.
The key risk-reduction measures being proposed on the label of MPT Crop Biofumigant to address the potential risks identified in this assessment are as follows.
The signal words "CAUTION - EYE IRRITANT", "POTENTIAL SKIN SENSITIZER" and "WARNING: Contains the allergen mustard" are required on the principal display panels of both the technical and end-use product labels. The statements "May irritate eyes", "May cause respiratory irritation", "Potential skin sensitizer", and "Contains the allergen mustard" are required on the secondary display panel of the technical and end-use product labels.
The personal protective equipment for all applications required on the end-use product label include a long sleeved shirt, chemical-resistant gloves, long pants, shoes and socks, and a NIOSH approved respirator with any N-95, R-95, P-95 or HE filter for biological products.
To avoid bystander exposure, the MPT Crop Biofumigant label states that unprotected persons should be kept out of the treated areas for the duration of the treatment period and for 24 hours after watering. To prevent post-application worker exposure to the degradation product AITC, the MPT Crop Biofumigant label requires a restricted-entry interval of 24 hours after watering the product into the soil.
To further reduce the risk of direct application to food crops, directions for use will be revised to state that the incorporation of MPT Crop Biofumigant into the soil layer to a depth of 10-15 cm is a necessary step in the application.
Before making a final registration decision on oriental mustard seed meal, the PMRA will consider all comments received from the public in response to this consultation document. The PMRA will accept written comments on Proposed Registration Decision PRD2011-23, Oriental Mustard Seed Meal up to 45 days from the date of publication of this document. Please forward all comments to Publications. The PMRA will then publish a Registration Decision, which will include its decision, the reasons for it, a summary of comments received on the proposed final decision and the Agency's response to these comments.
When the PMRA makes its registration decision, it will publish a Registration Decision on oriental mustard seed meal (based on the Science Evaluation of Proposed Registration Decision PRD2011-23, Oriental Mustard Seed Meal). In addition, the test data referenced in Proposed Registration Decision PRD2011-23, Oriental Mustard Seed Meal will be available for public inspection, upon application, in the PMRA's Reading Room (located in Ottawa).