Dow AgroSciences has been advised that the Japanese Food Safety Committee has approved a new Maximum Residue Level (MRL) of 1.0 part per million (ppm) for chlorpyrifos in citrus imported into Japan, effective immediately.

Chlorpyrifos is the active ingredient in Lorsban insecticides, which is widely used for insect control in citrus crops.

The new MRL for citrus was to be formally published in the Feb. 25 issue of the Japanese Gazette. This action harmonizes Japan's MRL for chlorpyrifos in citrus with the tolerance set in the United States and the global Codex MRL.

The previous MRL for citrus in Japan was 0.3 ppm.

“This is a significant step for citrus growers and exporters,” states Hank King, Dow AgroSciences marketing specialist for Lorsban products. “Normally, changes in an existing MRL do not take effect until six months following publication in the Gazette. Because of the critical need to harmonize the citrus MRLs in order to facilitate exports from the U.S. to Japan, the Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has waived this waiting period.

“Many citrus growers rely on Lorsban-4E for insect control throughout their growing season,” he continues. “And, when used within labeled rates, Lorsban will not generate an MRL greater than 1.0 ppm. This change potentially opens a larger demand for U.S. citrus products from Japan.”