Post sponsored by

Source: Ministry for Primary Industries

Closing Date:

Contact: Food safety regulations policy

Have your say

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is seeking feedback on options to change the way inhibitors used in agriculture are managed. The discussion paper identifies 3 options for managing the regulatory oversight of inhibitors to make sure the primary sector can safely and effectively use inhibitors to mitigate environmental, sustainability and climate change issues. It also seeks feedback on key details – for example, the definition of inhibitor, should the level of regulatory oversight of inhibitors increase.

What are inhibitors?

The consultation will run from 13 February to 27 March 2020.

Discussion paper

The regulation of inhibitors used in agriculture [PDF, 1021 KB]

Related information

One page summary of the discussion paper [PDF, 129 KB] 

Media release about this consultation

Questions and answers about this consultation [PDF, 416 KB]

What’s being proposed?

MPI has identified and is seeking feedback on 3 options for managing inhibitors used in agriculture.

Option 1: Maintain the status quo

No change to how inhibitors are regulated. Involves the least compliance cost to industry and maintains current access to inhibitors. 

Option 2: Increase industry management of inhibitors

A non-regulatory option. This would require those involved in selling inhibitors working with users to ensure there is sufficient information provided to manage risks to animal and plant health, food safety, and trade.   

Option 3: Change the regulation of inhibitors

Legal obligations would apply. Inhibitors could be identified as agricultural compounds and the risks managed by assessments under the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997.

Tell us what you think

We are seeking feedback on these questions:

  • Should regulatory oversight of inhibitors be increased?
  • What is the most appropriate of the 3 options identified (or is there a better alternative)?
  • What are the key regulatory settings should oversight increase?
  • What are the impacts of any of the identified options?
  • Are there any potential unintended consequences of any of the proposed options?

Making your submission

Email your feedback on the discussion document by 5pm on Friday 27 March 2020 to

While we prefer email, you can post written submissions to:

Inhibitor regulation
Food Safety Regulations Policy
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140.

What to include

Make sure to include:

  • the title of the consultation document
  • your name and title
  • your organisation’s name (if you are submitting on behalf of an organisation, and whether your submission represents the whole organisation or a section of it)
  • your contact details (phone number, address, and email).

Submissions are public information

Note, that any submission you make becomes public information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we have to make submissions available unless we have good reasons for withholding them. That is explained in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include that it is commercially sensitive or it’s personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may tell us to release it.

MPI may post all or parts of any written submission on its website. We’ll consider that you have consented to its publication unless clearly stated otherwise in your submission.  

What are inhibitors?

Inhibitors are potentially important tools for primary producers to improve environmental sustainability. While there is no legislated definition of inhibitor in New Zealand, they are commonly considered to be compounds that can be applied directly or indirectly to animals or a place to inhibit the production of greenhouse gases or to reduce nutrient leaching in some way. Inhibitors vary widely in how and what they inhibit. Common types of application include as feed additives, coatings on fertilisers, or vaccines.

There is growing interest by farmers and growers in the use of these tools to reduce nitrate leaching and the effects of climate change. While this technology has some exciting potential, we need to make sure that any use of inhibitors is managed well so that any potential risks to food safety, plant and animal health and trade are minimised. As well as making sure there are no negative impacts from using inhibitors, the primary sector wants assurance that products on the market that claim to be inhibitors are effective.