Review of Register of Pesticides Long Overdue.
Our Government has a duty to ensure that the food we put into our bodies is clean, healthy, and most importantly will not kill us! On 18th August 2021, the Biden Administration banned the use of the chemical chlorpyrifos in agricultural production, due to the risk it poses to children and workers. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) held that chlorpyrifos “did not meet a legally required standard of reasonable certainty that exposure to the pesticide wouldn’t be harmful.”
Our citizens and especially our farmers must be made aware that there are three chlorpyrifos-based products that are approved for use in Trinidad and Tobago. These are:
• SMCP Dursban Cricket Bait
• Knock Out (A pesticide spray)
• Chlorpyrifos 48% EC (used largely for household pests and mosquito larvae)
Studies conducted by the Columbian Centre for Children’s Health have determined that there are definitive links between Chlorpyrifos and neural disorders in children. The researchers found that exposure to chlorpyrifos,” increased odds of mental delay, psychomotor delay, attention disorders, and pervasive developmental disorders among the high-exposure children.”
Given this recent development, Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) respectfully call on the Honourable Minister Rambarath, to take an example from the USA and ban the use of chlorpyrifos in T&T. How many other toxic pesticides are being approved for use in Trinidad and Tobago?
It took us 18 years to deregister and ban DDT in Trinidad and Tobago (in 1990), yet in 1972 the US EPA issued a cancellation order due to its adverse environmental effects and potential human health risks. When will this toxic chemical be removed from our register of pesticides? Or will it end up like other harmful chemicals such as malathion and Gramoxone which are being allowed to poison our people even though it is banned in developed nations?
Will it take a generation of brain-damaged, cancer riddled children for our Authorities to act? We respectfully appeal to our Government to stop the import of any chemical which is produced in the US or the EU but banned in their nations. Based on current scientific data and the correlation between these chemicals and cancer, we need an immediate overhaul of the approved register of agricultural pesticides in T&T. Unless we act with urgency, our children will be continuously poisoned.