Pes­ti­cide safety is es­sen­tial

Jamaica Gleaner - - CLASSIFIEDS -

JA­MAICA, THROUGH the Pes­ti­cides Con­trol Au­thor­ity (PCA) and the Min­istry of Health, joins the rest of CARI­COM in observing Pes­ti­cides Aware­ness Week from Septem­ber 25-30. The theme cho­sen for this year by the Co­or­di­nat­ing Group of Pes­ti­cide Con­trol Boards of the Caribbean (CGPC), of which the PCA is a mem­ber, is ‘Man­age Pes­ti­cides Re­spon­si­bly: Adapt to Cli­mate Change’.

This theme is a re­minder to both pro­fes­sional users of pes­ti­cides and the gen­eral pub­lic about two cur­rent is­sues re­lated to pes­ti­cides: Pes­ti­cides can pose a sig­nif­i­cant risk to health and the en­vi­ron­ment; there­fore their use must be man­aged re­spon­si­bly to re­duce such risks. This in­cludes the prin­ci­ple that pes­ti­cide use should be con­sid­ered a last re­sort, and used in an in­te­grated pest

Iman­age­ment pro­gramme. For ex­am­ple, mos­quito con­trol must fo­cus pri­mar­ily on in­di­vid­ual re­spon­si­bil­ity to elim­i­nate breed­ing sites and pre­vent be­ing bit­ten, rather than re­liance on the Gov­ern­ment to fog com­mu­ni­ties with in­sec­ti­cides. Cli­mate change re­sult­ing in higher tem­per­a­tures, is pre­dicted to in­crease pest pop­u­la­tions by short­en­ing their breed­ing cy­cle. At the same time, it is an­tic­i­pated that there will be re­duced ef­fec­tive­ness of pes­ti­cides that pre­vi­ously worked well, mainly be­cause the higher tem­per­a­tures will break down pes­ti­cides faster, and also speed­ing up pes­ti­cide re­sis­tance in pest pop­u­la­tions. This com­bi­na­tion of more pests and less ef­fec­tive pes­ti­cides may cre­ate the temp­ta­tion to mis­use pes­ti­cides – both by pro­fes­sional users (for ex­am­ple, farm­ers spray­ing crops) and by the gen­eral pub­lic. This mis­use (not man­ag­ing pes­ti­cides re­spon­si­bly) may in­clude us­ing pes­ti­cides at higher rates or more fre­quently than rec­om­mended. Per­sons may make bad choices in choos­ing the more toxic pes­ti­cides or even us­ing a par­tic­u­lar pes­ti­cide not ap­proved for that pest.

In clos­ing, man­ag­ing pes­ti­cides re­spon­si­bly must in­clude thor­oughly read­ing the pes­ti­cide la­bel and fol­low­ing the in­struc­tions – pes­ti­cide safety is es­sen­tial. MICHAEL RAM­SAY Regis­trar Pes­ti­cides Con­trol Au­thor­ity


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