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KeyStrepto Kiwifruit Spraying

The Approvals and Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Group of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has granted limited approval for the use of streptomycin (KeyStrepto) on kiwifruit vines.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council is responsible for upholding the regulations of the Regional Air Plan and the Resource Management Act. The key components in relation to the application of KeyStrepto under our Air Plan is as follows:

  • KeyStrepto is classed as an Agrichemical.
  • Notification must be given to the occupiers of all adjoining properties within 50m of that agrichemical use.
  • Notification must be no earlier than 20 days and no later than 12 hours.
  • Road side signage must be placed on the road boundary 24 hours before the time of application.
  • The discharge must not result in any harmful concentration of agrichemical beyond the property boundary  

Therefore if you believe a breach has occurred please contact the pollution hotline on 0800 884 883.

For any further information about KeyStrepto please refer to the agencies below:

Ministry of Agriculture (MAF)

Approvals and Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Group (ACVM Group)

Contact: 0800 00 83 33

The ACVM Group of MAF has granted limited approval for the use of streptomycin on kiwifruit vines.

The approval for use on kiwifruit vines requires that the product (Streptomycin - trade name KeyStrepto) is to be used under specified conditions, including that it is only applied a maximum of three times to vines in the pre-flowering period from the last harvest to before flowers first appear on the vine (meaning it is never sprayed directly onto the flowers or fruit) and it is only applied in clearly specified high risk areas or where PSa is detected.

Provided the product is used in accordance with these instructions, there will be no detectable residues on fruit for consumption. As a precautionary measure, fruit from vines documented as having KeyStrepto applied will be tested for residues.  This testing will be managed by Zespri and the industry body established to manage PSa - Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) and data collated will be supplied to the ACVM Group.

Streptomycin has been approved for use on crops in New Zealand since the 1960s and the trade-named KeyStrepto was registered for use in 1978.  This approval granted for kiwifruit is not a new registration, but rather extends the use conditions of the current registration to allow for use on kiwifruit. This approval was granted due to the urgency of the PSa situation and the damaging consequences of this disease on the New Zealand kiwifruit industry.

MAF's ACVM group applied its standard risk assessment and risk management approach to the decision to extend the use conditions for KeyStrepto to kiwifruit. In this case, as with any agricultural compound or veterinary medicine approval, the ACVM Group has the right to reassess approvals if new information comes to light indicating that use conditions should change or product approvals be withdrawn.

The ACVM Group has a primary role of regulating agricultural compounds, such as KeyStrepto, to ensure they are fit for purpose, and the safety and suitability of food products (including bee products) treated with them, for both domestic and export markets is retained.  It will not be compromised.

The Australian and New Zealand authority Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) recently did a risk assessment on the use of antibiotics in some New Zealand apple orchards in response to concerns about possible health and safety risks.  The report found that the possibility of residues being present in fruit was minimal and that the use of Streptomycin presented a negligible food safety risk.  The results were confirmed by internationally-recognised experts in the field of antimicrobial (antibiotic) resistance.

Environmental Protection Authority (EPA)

Contact: 0800 376 234

The Environmental Protection Authority manages the risks to people and the environment from the adverse effects of hazardous substances, including spraydrift. The use of streptomycin is subject to tight controls under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act.

Commercial contractors applying streptomycin must be HSNO Approved Handlers. This means they must have the knowledge and skill to use the substance in a manner which does not harm themselves, bystanders or the environment.  This includes taking appropriate measures to avoid spray drift, and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.

In addition, growers are required to use low spray drift technology until the canopy is sufficiently developed to prevent spray drift and to only spray in low to no wind conditions, as well as notifying surrounding properties at least 12 hours in advance of spraying.

As a precaution, as with any agrichemical spraying, it is recommended that windows are closed, and people and animals stay indoors or away from the area, while spraying is underway. Providing streptomycin is used in accordance with the controls, the EPA has no concerns about risks to human health or the environment.

Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH)

Contact: 0800 665 825

Kiwifruit Vine Health work to minimise the impact of Psa-V on the New Zealand kiwifruit industry and enable affected growers to re-establish their orchards.

Follow this link to find out the latest updates from KVH on KeyStrepto: