Kenya: Advocacy groups petition govt. to ban pesticides harmful to health & environment

Author: Agatha Ngotho, The Star (Kenya), Published on: 25 September 2019

"Lobby groups want harmful pesticides banned"

Uasin Gishu Woman Rep Gladys Shollei has petitioned Parliament to order the withdrawal of harmful chemical pesticides in the Kenyan market. The petition is on behalf of?Biodiversity and Biosafety Association of Kenya, Kenya Organic Agriculture Network, Resources Oriented Initiative Kenya and Route to Food Initiative. The lobby groups say that there has been an increase in the prevalence of pesticides in Kenya, posing a risk to health and the environment.

They say the volume of imported herbicides, insecticides and fungicides has doubled in the past four years from 6,400 tonnes in 2015 to 15,600 tonnes in 2018. “Despite this, there is no data available concerning the use of pesticides in food, water and soil and their related impacts,” the lobbyists say. They have identified 24 products in the Kenyan market that are carcinogenic, 24 that can cause damage to genetic changes, 35 that can interfere with the hormonal system, 140 that can affect the nervous system and 262 products that show effects on reproduction toxicity...

The petitioners want the government to withdraw all harmful and toxic pesticides in Kenya's market. “We recommend the government to establish and strengthen the monitoring system on the use of pesticides through increased data collection on food samples in the market. We also recommend amendment of the Pest Control Product Act to include a list of pesticides that have been withdrawn from the market based on the serious health risks posed to Kenyans,” the petition read.

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