THURSDAY, JANUARY 30, 2020
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is initiating a reassessment of the plant growth regulator hydrogen
cyanamide, and is now seeking information on how and where it is being used in New Zealand.
Hydrogen cyanamide products are used in New Zealand mainly by orchardists, particularly kiwifruit and apple growers, to
promote bud formation. There are six hydrogen cyanamide products registered with NZ Food Safety at the Ministry of
Primary Industries. They are Hi-Cane, Treestart, Hortcare Hi-break, Synergy HC, Gro-Chem HC-50 and Cyan. These products
are currently restricted to commercial use only.
In September 2019 an EPA decision-making committee decided that grounds exist to reassess this substance on the basis
that there was significant new information contained in a report published by the European Food Safety Authority,
relating to the hazards and risks of the substance.
The EPA will be proceeding with a reassessment of hydrogen cyanamide. A reassessment is the formal review under the
Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO), of the rules controlling a substance that is already in use in New
Zealand. Hydrogen cyanamide was last reassessed in 2006.
“It is important that we now put the call out for New Zealand specific data and information relating to the use of
hydrogen cyanamide. By building a detailed understanding of both the positive and adverse effects of a substance, we can
ensure that we have the best available information upon which to make a decision under the HSNO Act,” says Acting
General Manager of the EPA’s Hazardous Substances and New Organisms group, Gayle Holmes.
“We are seeking specific relevant information, from manufacturers, importers, and industry users as well as the public.
“We want to know how hydrogen cyanamide is being used, the frequency and scale of its use, and the specific mitigation
measures that are currently in practice. All the information we gather will inform our reassessment application, which
will then enter the statutory reassessment process.”
Reassessments are determined by a decision-making committee, which is made up of members of the EPA’s HSNO Committee.
The outcome of reassessments can range from no change to the rules (controls) of use, modifications to controls,
restrictions, to revocations of substance approvals.
We welcome any information on uses of the substance that you are aware of. Submissions close at 5.00 pm, Thursday 30