Health authorities together with the Ministry of the Environment have issued a directive which will ban Kloropirifos from the local market. This follows a directive issued at the end of July by the European Union banning this globally used pesticide. Following discussions with the relevant stakeholders including farmers’ representatives, this product will be withdrawn immediately from the local market.
During a press conference held today, it was described how this substance kills insects and worms, by damaging their nervous system and killing them immediately. However, studies show that an active ingredient in a number of pesticide products can have an adverse effect on the human brain and child development.
The products to be withdrawn from the market are: Centurio, DURSBAN, Pisoni, RELDAN 22, ZELIG GR 50.
Parliamentary Secretary for agriculture, Clint Camilleri said it is a well-known fact that Maltese and Gozitan farmers do their utmost to provide the best agricultural product to the consumer. He emphasised that for the consumer to enjoy an excellent and fresh product, this requires several weeks and months of work and sacrifice by farmers and those involved in agriculture. Camilleri continued that as a Government, such work needs to be safeguarded to ensure that this does not go to waste.
Therefore, along with the farming communities the decision to withdraw this substance from the market was taken after the government was informed of the EFSA statement. Although the EU cannot fully prohibit the use of this substance, the decision to ban these products ultimately lies with each member state. Camilleri continued that there are already 8 countries which have banned this substance. It should be noted that only around 8% of imported goods come from these countries.
Parliamentary Secretary Deo Debattista said that this substance may affect the human body and therefore the MCCAA felt the need to stop local usage of this product prior to it being banned by the EU. This was done to protect the health of those who use this product and the end consumer. Debattista explained that although last year some traces of this substance were found in some agricultural produce, no trace of this product resulted from the Maltese market this year.
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