Pesticide Expert Wants Spurious Stuff Withdrawn From Market

RIYADH – A pesticide expert has urged local supermarkets and grocery shops to withdraw from their shelves dangerous pesticides and insecticides following the tragic death of a Pakistani

family of six, who died having inhaled toxic pesticides that they used in their apartment to get rid of rodents and insects. Ahmed ibn Saeed A. Al-Salman, owner of Hana Al-Meshari Company (HAMC) and Eagle Pest Management Services, called on government agencies to impose tighter restrictions on the sale of pesticides. “There are many formulations that have dermal, oral and nasal toxicity, which can cause serious complications in human health or even lead to death,” he said. “Some of them are cheap and readily available, prompting people to buy and use them themselves despite the presence of over 200 professional pest management companies in the Kingdom,” he added.

Al-Salman urged local companies, supermarkets, and small grocery shops to withdraw dangerous pesticides and added that a large number of people were unaware of the hazards of the improper use of pesticides. “People don’t even understand the toxic impact of pesticides on human health, if they are used without proper formulation or dilution.” said Ahmed, adding that a pesticide is any substance or mixture intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest. “Pests can be insects and insect-like DUE IRRA D organisms, mice and other vertebrate animals, unwanted plants (weeds) or fungi, bacteria and viruses that cause plant diseases; they are all found in Saudi Arabia” he said, adding, “Though often misunderstood to refer only to insecticides, the term pesticide also applies to herbicides, fungicides, and various other substances used to control pests.” He said that the “International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides of the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO)” has been for 20 years the most acknowledged interna- tonal initiative to reduce the negative impact of pesticide use in developing countries. “But, people don’t realize it while pest control companies do understand the problem,” said Al-Salman. He also called for an awareness program about the issue.

Asked how to address the situation and generate more awareness, a HAMC statement said that people must hire the services of professional pest control companies. There are many professional pest management companies operating in Saudi Arabia, said Al-Salman. These companies must be contacted and given a chance to render their services in times of need or problem, he suggested. They have the ability to check the menace caused by rodents, cockroaches or animals, he said. These companies can also provide better consultancy to farmers, who have been using pesticide indiscriminately. Of late, the hazards of consuming fruit and vegetables are increasing with the indiscriminate use of pesticides and other toxic substances in local farms, said a report published recently,

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