Wednesday, 29 May, 2024
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SA finally to ban certain toxic pesticides

Nearly three years after the Women on Farms project in the Cape sounded the alarm over pesticides that have been linked to cancer, genetic mutations, and which might affect reproductive health – and that have already been banned in the EU – SA’s Department of Agriculture will begin phasing out some of them over the next two years, and ban them completely by June 2024.

In Worcester last week, some 150 farm women marched to the Departments of Health and Agriculture and handed over memos, saying they wanted this to be recognised as a serious public health issue, reports Liezl Human for GroundUp.

Many are not provided with protective clothing when working with pesticides, having to work in crops right after pesticides were sprayed, and developing respiratory symptoms like asthma.

They also handed over a memorandum at Worcester Hospital to a representative from the Department of Health, demanding an urgent meeting with the department heads of Health, Agriculture, Labour and Environment. They called for hazardous pesticides to be banned, and for old pesticides regulations to be updated.

The workers marched in August 2019 and again in May this year against the use of 67 pesticides which include Roundup, Dursban and Paraquat, all already banned in the European Union (EU) since 2007.

Pesticides are regulated by the Fertilisers, Farm Feeds, Seeds and Remedies Act (FFFAR).

Women on Farm Project’s Carmen Louw said last week’s event was the first time they had received feedback from the state since 2019, when they first approached the government about the pesticides.

Maluta Jonathan Mudzunga, director at Agricultural Inputs Control at the Department of Agriculture, acknowledged that the Act regulating pesticides was dated.

He said: “It doesn’t really address or provide enough protection for the issues that have been raised today.”

He added that the department was in talks with the industry to stop making some of the most toxic chemicals.

Aneliswa Cele, chief director of Environmental Health and Port Health Services at the Department of Health, said officials in Worcester have been tasked to investigate cases of pesticide exposure on farms and promised to mitigate pesticides contaminating water sources and that label regulations were followed accurately.


GroundUp article – Department of Agriculture to ban use of certain pesticides by 2024 (Creative Commons Licence)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Contact with pesticides while pregnant linked to autism


Another legal win for Monsanto in Roundup cancer claim battles


Common pesticide adds to ADHD risk


Bayer to pay $10.9bn in Roundup cancer settlements




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