JIS News

Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) have been commended for their assistance in dealing with persons who breach pesticide regulations.
The commendation has come from Hyacinth Chin Sue, the Registrar of the Pesticides Control Authority (PCA), in an interview with JIS News.
She pointed out that the strong assistance from the Police has yielded positive results, as wherever a problem has been identified, they have followed up and provided the necessary enforcement.
“Previously, when persons were in breach of pesticide regulations, it was not viewed as important but I can say that over time, with the aid of the police, this view has changed,” she added.
In fact, the Registrar disclosed that the PCA has intensified inspections of premises where pesticides are stored and offered for sale. “We have been doing more enforcement on farm stores that have been selling products that are not registered,” Mrs. Chin Sue said.
She disclosed that plans were in place to conduct more inspections of premises located in rural areas, which store and offer pesticides for sale.
Mrs. Chin Sue also issued a warning to persons, who blatantly flaunt the law despite repeated warnings and complaints. She said if caught, they could be prosecuted and fined $30,000 for each violation. The maximum fine under the Act is $500,000.
“It is the judge’s discretion on the matter of fines,” she pointed out, adding that the PCA had at least three court cases pending within the Corporate Area.
In terms of how far the PCA was willing to go to enforce the law, Mrs. Chin Sue said that if needed, the PCA would go as far as penalizing farmers who fail to mix pesticides correctly, because there was the possibility of contaminated produce threatening the local and external markets.
“We can do it if it becomes necessary, to protect the export market and the quality of the local food. If we can identify the supplier of a produce and prove that they put a product with a high level of pesticide residue in circulation, then we can certainly file a charge on that,” she informed.
Jamaica imports some 2,700 tonnes of pesticides annually. This is deemed a relatively high level of consumption, given the population. With this in mind, Jamaica, through the efforts of the PCA, boasts one of the better regulatory systems for pesticides in the Caribbean region.