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Citizens are victims of disagreement among officials on toxic pesticides

9-1-2018

During the past week, a dispute arose between MP Wael Abu Faour and Agriculture Minister Ghazi Zuaiter, regarding the agricultural pesticides, and this after Zuaiter issued a decision last December involving the modification of the content of a joint dictate by both ministries issued on June 13, 2016, which banned the import of a large number of toxic agricultural pesticides which proved to be significantly linked to disruptive hazards on the health of pregnant women, while he excluded some 18 types of pesticides but later consented their importation. Abu Faour asked his colleague to repeal his decision, demanding the intervention of the Public Prosecution, and revealed that companies involved in importing pesticides have paid huge sums amounting to USD 500,000 to buy their entry into domestic markets. On its part, the ministry of agriculture presented documents issued by the health and agriculture ministries during Abu Faour and Akram Chehayeb’s terms, indicating that both ministries have conceded the use for one year of certain carcinogenic pesticides, while sources at the agriculture ministry said that Zuaiter has excepted only the pest control chemicals used in reference countries (European Union, Japan, USA…). Similarly, the Association of Importers and Distributors of Supplies for Agricultural Production, described as ‘imprecise and misleading’ Abu Faour’s statement especially that it lacks scientific background, refusing to be represented by non-specialists, as he put it. (Al Mustaqbal, December 30, 2017, January 8, 2018)

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