• Shollei said that the board was either ignorant of the dangers the pesticides expose Kenyans to or was in bed with manufacturers and traders.
• She said of some of the products had been found by scientists to contain chemicals that cause cancer, reproductive health and neurological problems,
The Pesticide Control Board should be removed for approving harmful pesticides in the Kenyan market, Uasin Gishu Women Rep Gladys Shollei has said.
Shollei said that the board was either ignorant of the dangers the pesticides expose Kenyans to or was in bed with manufacturers and traders.
She said of some of the products had been found by scientists to contain chemicals that cause cancer, reproductive health and neurological problems.
“Please remove them from our markets,” she said.
The legislator spoke on Thursday during a media breakfast in Eldoret.
She said she had petitioned Parliament to remove 262 pesticides that have been scientifically proven to contain chemicals that cause cancer and other diseases.
“We are only asking for the removal of those that have been proven to have harmful chemicals that expose Kenyans to health hazards,” she said.
In the petition, Shollei wants the government to ban all products in the market classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, endocrine disrupters, neurotoxic and many which show clear effects on reproduction toxicity.
The bill, she explained, is currently before the departmental committee on health.
The committee will summon the Pesticides Control Board, the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services, the National Environment Management Authority, and the Agriculture and Food Authority to explain how the pesticides have found their way into the Kenyan market.
Shollei said the 262 pesticides she has listed have been banned in the United States, United Kingdom and most of Europe because they have cancer-causing chemicals.
“These countries are not using these pesticides. They are only manufacturing for specific markets like Kenya,” she said.
She dismissed arguments by the agrochemical dealers and fresh produce exporters that removing the pesticides from the market farmers will not be able to grow their crops.
“We have 11,600 tonnes of pesticides coming into Kenya, if we remove the 262, there will be so many other pesticides farmers can use that are not harmful to our health,” she said.