The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is calling for public feedback on options to change the way a category of compounds called inhibitors are managed.
Inhibitors are compounds that can be applied directly or indirectly to animals or a place to inhibit the production of greenhouse gases or reduce nutrient leaching in some way. Common types of application include as feed additives, coatings on fertilisers, or vaccines.
MPI’s director of food, skills and science, Fiona Duncan, says:
“There is understandably a growing interest within industry in the use of these tools to reduce nitrate leaching and the effects of climate change.
“We think this technology has some exciting potential. However, we need to make sure that any use of inhibitors is managed well so that potential risks to food safety, plant and animal health, and trade are minimised.
“We have a reputation for high standards of food safety and these proposals are designed to keep it that way.”
MPI is seeking the public’s views on three options for managing inhibitors used in agriculture:
- Option 1: Maintain the status quo – no change in how inhibitors are regulated
- Option 2: Increase industry management of inhibitors
- Option 3: Change regulation of inhibitors to include them under the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997.
MPI also wants to know if people think there are other options to consider to manage inhibitors appropriately, what the impacts of any changes might be to businesses, and how inhibitors should be defined. The definition is important if regulatory oversight is increased to ensure the right products are in scope.
The consultation closes on 27 March.