Con­grats on bring­ing aware­ness to pes­ti­cide is­sues

Jamaica Gleaner - - CLASSIFIEDS -

THE MAN­AGE­MENT of pests forms an im­por­tant part in the im­prove­ment of health care glob­ally. I would like to con­grat­u­late the Pes­ti­cides Con­trol Au­thor­ity on another year of bring­ing aware­ness to the crit­i­cal is­sues sur­round­ing pes­ti­cides.

The Min­istry of Health re­mains com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing the high­est stan­dards and reg­u­la­tory prac­tices that are in line with in­ter­na­tional best prac­tices. The area of pes­ti­cides is no dif­fer­ent as we aim, through ef­fi­cient, fa­cil­i­ta­tive and cor­dial in­ter­ac­tion with the pub­lic and in col­lab­o­ra­tion with other agen­cies, to re­duce the ad­verse ef­fects of pes­ti­cides on food, the en­vi­ron­ment and pub­lic health by im­prov­ing pes­ti­cide man­age­ment in Ja­maica.

Pes­ti­cides Aware­ness Week is be­ing ob­served un­der the theme ‘Man­age Pes­ti­cides Re­spon­si­bil­ity: Adapt to Cli­mate Change’. The theme is timely as the re­gion seeks to ad­dress the is­sue that cli­mate change is ex­pected to in­crease pest pop­u­la­tions, in­clud­ing disease vec­tors such as mos­qui­toes and agri­cul­ture pests. In the past two years alone, we have been chal­lenged as a coun­try with the im­pact on health and devel­op­ment from two emerg­ing vec­tor-borne dis­eases, Chikun­gunya and Zika. Both dis­eases are trans­mit­ted by the vec­tor, the

mos­quito. Our man­age­ment of con­trol­ling these vec­tors must not lead to pes­ti­cide mis­use when re­spond­ing to the prob­lem. The min­istry’s con­sis­tent call for in­di­vid­ual re­spon­si­bil­ity in the man­age­ment of garbage dis­posal in and around homes, schools, churches and work­places is one ini­tia­tive that seeks to re­duce pes­ti­cide use against these vec­tors.

The com­mon re­sponse to more pests, in­clud­ing mos­qui­toes, is more pes­ti­cides, which can in­crease the risk of pes­ti­cide poi­son­ing of users and even other per­sons, in­clud­ing chil­dren, who come into con­tact with the pes­ti­cide af­ter ap­pli­ca­tion. Other po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous out­comes are the pes­ti­cide use in agri­cul­ture which can in­crease the risk of pes­ti­cide residue in food, as well as po­ten­tial dam­age to the en­vi­ron­ment. Pes­ti­cides Aware­ness Week will fo­cus on these and sev­eral other is­sues in a bid to bet­ter sen­si­tise the pub­lic and im­prove the over­all man­age­ment of pes­ti­cides.

I an­tic­i­pate that this will be a very pro­duc­tive week and I wish you all the best with your week-long ac­tiv­i­ties. DR CHRISTO­PHER TUFTON Min­is­ter of Health


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