LEADER

Report on pesticides should be wake up call

The Pest Control Products Board must reassure the public and rid farms of dangerous chemicals.

In Summary

• A programme in Kenya, Route to Food Africa Initiative, has reported that a third of all active ingredients in pesticides sold in Kenya are banned in Europe.

•  The study found that 24 products farmers spray on food crops are classified as carcinogenic, while another 24 are mutagenic, meaning they cause damaging genetic changes,

Officers from the pest control products board display some of the contraband pesticides and chemicals at central police station in Mombasa county on July 10. Pesticides worth Sh2 million were nabbed at one of the shops around Marikiti
Officers from the pest control products board display some of the contraband pesticides and chemicals at central police station in Mombasa county on July 10. Pesticides worth Sh2 million were nabbed at one of the shops around Marikiti
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

A new report released yesterday has painted a disturbing picture of the woes bedevilling our food supply chain.

A programme in Kenya, Route to Food Africa Initiative, has reported that a third of all active ingredients in pesticides sold in Kenya are banned in Europe. The toxic ingredients are linked to cancer, mental illness and neurological ailments.

It found that 24 products sprayed on food crops are classified as carcinogenic, another 24 are mutagenic, causing damaging genetic mutations.

 
 
 
 

Others have been proven to negatively affect hormones, cause mental retardation in children, trigger miscarriages and eventually cause death.

The fact that licensed firms inject poison into the food chain is distressing. Worse,  professionals hired by government to police the system are either sleeping on the job or are have been paid to turn a blind eye.

The Health ministry and all agencies must swiftly withdraw pesticides containing toxic ingredients from the market and punish (within the law) company directors.

Researchers conclude the ingredients are toxic regardless of the degree of residue.

The reckless approach by authorities does not only threaten life but also makes it hard to export produce to Europe. By extension, it ruins jobs.

The Pest Control Products Board must reassure the public and rid farms of dangerous chemicals.