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Canada Implements MRLs for Spirotetramat in Crops

Photo: Crops
Photo: Crops

Pest Control Products Act, Health Canada’s PMRA has notified the WTO that proposed MRLs for Spirotetramat in crops such as stone fruits, tree nuts, carrot roots, sugar beet roots and asparagus are to be implemented. This update has the potential to affect agricultural producers, food manufacturers, and pesticide manufacturers. Any individual crop destined for Canada, must not be found to have Spirotetramat residues in excess of the MRLs.

Spirotetramat is the ISO common name for cis-3-(2,5-dimethylphenyl)-4-hydroxy-8-methoxy-1-azaspiro[4.5]dec-3-en-2-one and it is also known by the manufacturer’s experimental name BYI08330. It belongs to the chemical class of ketoenols which can translocate in the phloem and xylem of plants. This compound acts as an inhibitor of acetyl-CoA carboxylase against a broad spectrum of sucking insects. Due to no cross-resistance to other conventional insecticides and no negative impact on beneficial arthropods, it is widely used in various crops. Nevertheless, Spirotetramat is considered to be an eye and skin irritant in animals and humans [1]. BYI08330-enol-Glc, BYI08330-ketohydroxy, BYI08330-monohydroxy, and BYI08330-enol-glucoside are the main metabolites of Spirotetramat in plants. To express the residue of BYI08330 and its metabolites, the regulations require them to be reported as Spirotetramat equivalents.

In order to ensure food safety for consumers many organizations and countries, such as Codex, EU, US, Japan, and Canada, have established maximum residue limits (MRLs) for pesticides in food commodities based on field trial data [2][3][4][5][6]. In Canada, either Codex MRLs for Spirotetramat used for internal food trade do not cover domestically-produced and imported foods including carrot roots, sugar beet roots, and asparagus, or there is no Canadian scientific data studying their toxicities in stone fruits and tree nuts. As a result, Health Canada’s PMRA has conducted its own risk assessment to determine whether the levels of Spirotetramat residue detected in these products are harmful to human health. Subsequently, Canada’s proposed MRLs for these products [7] have been set and the WTO notified, see the table below. To date, Spirotetramat and its metabolites in crops can be extracted by using the QuEChERS method and analyzed by the Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) technique.

What do the changes mean?

This update has the potential to affect agricultural producers, food manufacturers, and pesticide manufacturers. Any individual crop destined for Canada, must not be found to have Spirotetramat residues in excess of the MRLs in the table below. To ensure compliance with food safety regulation, food producers should seek professional advice.

Common NameCrop GroupsParts per Million
(ppm)
SpirotetramatStone fruit4.5
Tree nuts0.25
Carrot roots, sugar beet roots0.15
Asparagus0.1

Maximum residue limits for Spirotetramat in crops

SGS is committed to keeping you informed of regulation news and developments. Leveraging our global network of laboratories and food experts, SGS provides a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions, including analytical tests, audits, certifications, inspections, and technical support. We continually invest in our testing, capability, and state-of-the art technology to help you reduce risk, improve food safety and quality. For furthermore information, please visit our website: www.foodsafety.sgs.com.

Content provided by SGS Hong Kong Limited
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