(CMC) – Guyana law enforcement officials said they had seized a quantity of highly hazardous pesticides that pose significant risks to human health, agricultural production, economic trade and the environment.
The Ministry of Agriculture Monday said that officials from the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board (PTCCB) in collaboration with the Guyana Police Force, on Sunday carried out the exercise confiscating approximately 300 kilograms of illegal or unregistered pesticides.
“The global trade in counterfeit and illegal pesticides is growing. With increasing quantities of fake and illegal pesticides being produced, marketed and sold by organized criminal groups around the world, there are greater risks to the safety of handlers, farmers, consumers and the environment,” said PTCCB registrar, Trecia Garnath.
She said that the board strongly condemns acts of this nature given the major health and environmental impacts these chemicals pose.
The PTCCB said that legal proceedings have started against those in possession of illegal/unregistered pesticides with intent to distribute, sell or use and that it is also currently investigating further intelligence gathered to curb the illegal trade of counterfeit pesticides into Guyana.
According to the statement, the counterfeit and illegal products are neither tested nor evaluated and are not subjected to the legislative regulatory process for pesticides.
It said that these products often contain chemicals which are either banned or restricted due to the risk they pose to human health and/or the environment.
“Undeclared active ingredients in counterfeit and illegal products can leave unacceptable residues on produce, rendering goods unfit for market. As the content of counterfeit and illegal products is unknown, their use can pose a high risk to farmers, their crops, the environment and consumers.”
The PTCCB said it would continue to collaborate with law enforcement personnel to carry out its operations to confiscate and safely dispose of counterfeit or illegal pesticides countrywide.