China seminar discusses benefits of intransit phosphine fumigation

by Teresa Acklin
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   BEIJING, CHINA — Intransit phosphine fumigation is more efficient and safe if buyers more clearly specify their requirements for insect control, according to speakers at a workshop held in October during the 7th International Working Conference on Stored Product Protection in Beijing.

   Nearly 400 persons from 34 countries attended the conference. Persons from India, South Africa, Spain and New Zealand attended the intransit fumigation workshop, organizers said.

   The International Maritime Fumigation Organization sponsored the workshop, which analyzed fumigation methods and the levels of efficacy and safety. Speakers included Chris Watson of Igrox Limited, United Kingdom, and Denis Bureau of Adalia Ltd., Canada.

   Some of the major points of the workshop concluded that surface-only treatment and short probe were less effective on insects deeper in grain; that long probe to the bottom of the hold was likely to kill insects throughout the cargo if applied correctly and for a long exposure period; that powered re-circulation could efficiently kill insects throughout all the cargo in a relatively short period of time; and that United Nations International Maritime Organization safety recommendations always be followed, regardless of the methods involved.

   The speakers said that intransit phosphine fumigation is more effective and more economical than methyl bromide, which is being phased out under terms of an international agreement to control ozone-depleting substances.

   Restrictions on the use of phosphine, an alternative to methyl bromide, were recently proposed in the United States by the Environmental Protection Agency. Supplier and industry groups are opposing the restrictions. (See related story on Page 13.)