It is standard practice for many conventional vegetable growers in the United States and Canada to purchase and plant seeds that are treated with Thiram. Registered in the United States since 1948 for non-systemic use, Thiram is a dimethyldithiocarbamate compound used as a fungicide to prevent crop damage in the field and to protect harvested crops from deterioration in storage or transport.
Thiram in the United States
Thiram is commonly applied as a seed treatment for crop protection against seedborne and soilborne fungi that cause seed decay, damping-off, and blight on a number of vegetable crops such as beans, brassicas, lettuce, and cucurbits. A study published in 2004 by the EPA reports that 631,000 pounds of Thiram were used to treat approximately 1.3 billion pounds of seed annually in the United States. Because Thiram is a relatively inexpensive crop protection product, it is likely that the consumption figures today are comparable to the years past. Although the EPA ‘s report is for U.S. consumption one must keep in mind that a considerable amount of vegetable seeds processed in the U.S. are exported to Canada and other parts of the world.
Proposed Cancellation of Thiram Use in Canada
On February 29th, 2016 Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) announced a proposed re-evaluation under the authority of the Pest Control Act and Regulations, proposing the cancellation of all Thiram uses in Canada. This proposal affects all end-use of products containing Thiram registered in Canada. The proposed Re-evaluation Decision PRVD2016-07 serves as a consultation document that summarizes a science based evaluation of Thiram and presents the reason for the proposed re-evaluation decision.
If you are a Canadian vegetable grower or seed dealer who imports or exports seeds treated with Thiram, you may consider submitting comments on the Proposed Re-evaluation Decision PRVD2016-07. PMRA is encouraging all stakeholders to submit comments on the Proposed Re-evaluation Decision no later than Friday, April 29, 2016. Currently PMRA has not published or announced neither a time frame for Re-evaluation process nor the length of time it will take for the cancellation to be instated if approved. Due to Thiram’s uncertain future in Canada, those who export or import seed into Canada and the growers they serve should start to consider alternative seed treatments.
Alternative Seed Treatments Offered by Germains North America
Currently, Germains Seed Technology offers the following filmcoat seed treatments that may be used as alternatives for Thiram; these are Maxim, Apron, Rancona and Rovral. If you are interested in pricing and or a list of approved species for these products, please click here to contact our North America Sales Department. For more information about PMRA’s proposed re-evaluation and to submit comments, please visit their website and register for their email updates so you may stay informed about the status of the proposed cancellation.