Jamaicans Warned Not to Purchase Illegal Pesticides

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Registrar of the Pesticides Control Authority, Mr. Michael Ramsay (right), points out some illegal pesticides at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’. At left is Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.

Story Highlights

  • The Pesticides Control Authority (PCA) is warning Jamaicans against purchasing and using illegal pesticides.
  • Registrar of the PCA, Michael Ramsay, told JIS News that persons should be vigilant when purchasing pesticides, as the Authority has found that many of the substances being sold are not authentic.
  • Mr. Ramsay said the biggest offender is black mosquito coils, for which the Authority has not received an application for registration.

The Pesticides Control Authority (PCA) is warning Jamaicans against purchasing and using illegal pesticides.

Registrar of the PCA, Michael Ramsay, told JIS News that persons should be vigilant when purchasing pesticides, as the Authority has found that many of the substances being sold are not authentic.

“People create their own concoctions and sell them, and the persons who are buying them do not know what they are getting,” he said.

“Our officers recently purchased what was being sold as rat bait, and upon testing the substance found that there was nothing in it that could kill a rat, so the person who is buying that particular product is only feeding the rats,” Mr. Ramsay added.

The Registrar said the problem is further compounded by the inability of some farmers to afford expensive pesticides.

He explained that as a result of this, some farm stores illegally open the manufacturer’s container and repackage for retail in smaller containers.

“This is usually done with no label, safety information or instructions for how to use it. The users have no way of knowing if what they are buying is the real thing. It could be diluted or turn out not to be that product at all,” he warned.

Mr. Ramsay pointed out that it is illegal to take a company’s branded product and sell it as something else, and that persons who do so are breaking the law.

He said that his officers have also identified pesticides which have entered the country illegally, and is urging the public not to purchase them, as they may contain harmful substances.

Mr. Ramsay said the biggest offender is black mosquito coils, for which the Authority has not received an application for registration.

“We don’t really know how much of a health risk they are, but we have got some reports that especially children and people with respiratory problems have been affected,” he noted.

He pointed out that some of the illegal pesticides contain active ingredients that are known to be problematic, and, as such, applications for registration of those products would most likely be turned down.

Mr. Ramsay informed that the very popular mosquito repellant wristbands are also illegal in Jamaica as no application for registration of the product has been received by the PCA.

He explained that the PCA must approve the label on every pesticide in the country before the necessary permission is given for sale of the product.

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