Japanese fungicide clearance creates market for U.S. fruit

Graduate and Scholar may now be used in U.S. packing houses on fruit exported to Japan, which is one of the largest foreign markets for U.S. citrus fruit and cherries.

Syngenta recently announced that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare granted a food additive tolerance designation to fludioxonil on citrus and stone fruit, after six years of assessment. Fludioxonil is an active ingredient in several Syngenta fungicides, including Graduate postharvest fungicide for citrus fruit and Scholar postharvest fungicide for stone fruit.

Graduate and Scholar may now be used in U.S. packing houses on fruit exported to Japan, which is one of the largest foreign markets for U.S. citrus fruit and cherries.

Graduate and Scholar will provide an excellent alternative to currently registered postharvest fungicides that are compromised by resistance in certain fruit crops like citrus.

Graduate and Scholar will effectively protect fruit from rot to improve U.S fruit quality and make it more attractive to potential Japanese buyers.

Japanese law requires its regulatory authorities to perform risk assessments on all chemicals applied to fruits and vegetables after harvest. Even chemicals that are registered for pre-harvest use in Japan must undergo additional assessment before they are granted a food additive tolerance designation to be used after harvest.

Risk assessments may take years to complete because the Japanese Food Safety Commission Expert Committees that conduct the assessment only meet every three to five months.

The California Citrus Quality Council, a Syngenta partner, was instrumental in securing the food additive tolerance designation for fludioxonil. The CCQC works with foreign and domestic regulatory agencies, researchers and crop protection companies to expedite the availability of resources that enable California citrus growers to produce high-quality, profitable fruit.

“The reality is that Syngenta and the CCQC have the same goal of providing solutions to citrus growers,” said Jim Cranney, president of the California Citrus Quality Council. “We’ve developed a great team-like relationship with Syngenta to give the citrus industry access to the latest fungicides and the confidence to apply them.”

Fearing that Japan would reject fruit treated with fludioxonil, U.S. packing houses have been reluctant to use fludioxonil on citrus or stone fruit that may be exported to Japan.

The tolerance designation gives packers the confidence to treat fruit with postharvest fungicides, such as Graduate or Scholar, that protect packed fruit from rots and improve its attractiveness to potential foreign buyers.

In addition, beginning March 1, 2012, Scholar, Graduate and other products containing fludioxonil will have a food additive tolerance designation in Japan for pome fruit.

For more information about Syngenta please go to http://www.syngenta.com.


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