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Government urged to ban highly hazardous pesticides




  • The greater threat to human health and environment is hazardous pesticides and organic farming/food is the answer. But that answer cannot be materialised until there is policy for organic food by Ministry of Food Security and Research. 

    There is also need to develop food standards by Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), said Nadeem Iqbal, Executive Co-ordinator/CEO TheNetwork for Consumer Protection-Pakistan while sharing the activities to mark Global Green Action Week-2013 which is being celebrated till October 6, 2013. 

    The Global Green Action Week 2013 is being celebrated across the world with the theme “Organic food and farming for all! Consumers and farmers for food security, sustainable and safe food”. TheNetwork for Consumer Protection is conducting sensitisation workshops and session along with similar activities in Malaysia, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Zimbabwe, Turkey, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Serbia, India, and Nepal. 

    The aim to celebrate the Global Green Action Week is to highlight the problems associated with irresponsible use of pesticides in farming and to drive consumer awareness and demand for food that is produced using alternative techniques that are not damaging to the health of consumers, farmers and the wider community or environment. There is need for realisation to grow and consumer safe food. For this purpose, The Network is conducting sessions with farmers’ community of Islamabad to sensitise on irresponsible use of pesticides and chemicals and advocate to demand for food that is safer for human health. 

    The pesticide, culprits in serious poisoning incidents are usually insecticides in the ‘extremely’ and ‘highly hazardous’ classes as defined by the World Health Organisation. Many of these are now banned in Europe but continue in use in low and middle income countries. Acute and fatal poisonings through contamination of food or drink are extremely rare in high income countries but all too common in the developing world. 

    The solution is certainly a ban on highly hazardous pesticides and sensitisation of farmers to grow organic and boost local markets for food without pesticide residues by educating consumers. TheNetwork for Consumer Protection, for this purpose is targeting different consumer groups of Islamabad especially women. 

    “We believe that once they are aware, consumers can actively participate in the development of markets for safe and healthy food. Women have a crucial role to play in promoting safer fruits and vegetables since they have to go to the market and supply the whole family. By demanding safer food in the shopping basket, consumers can support more producers to adopt farming methods that do not use pesticides or use them in acceptable quantities, said Nadeem Iqbal, Executive Co-ordinator, TheNetwork.-PR 

    Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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