Opinion / Opinion Line

Phasing out the use of toxic pesticides

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-22 08:15

Phasing out the use of toxic pesticides

A farmer checks crops in a paddy field in Shaoshui township, Quanzhou county of South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, Sept 24, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

The latest draft amendment to the Food Safety Law, submitted to the National People's Congress for approval, encourages development of less toxic pesticides to replace highly toxic ones and forbids the use of the latter in fruit and vegetable farms, tea gardens and herbal medicine. Comments:

Agricultural production has long been globalized and all producers have to compete in the international market. Many developed countries have strict standards for agriculture. Some even conduct more than 200 tests just to check pesticide remnants in green onions. Therefore, if Chinese farmers continue using highly toxic pesticides that are banned in many other countries, how can they compete in the global market?

Legal Daily, April 21

If it is not possible to totally ban the use of highly toxic pesticides, the authorities can at least introduce a mandatory labeling system that allows consumers to determine the toxic levels in agricultural products. This, in turn, will compel farmers and food producers to give up the use of highly toxic pesticides.

Yang Zhen, a member of NPC Standing Committee, April 20

To effectively forbid the use of highly toxic pesticides, we need to first develop less toxic ones. Otherwise, farmers will continue to opt for highly toxic pesticides to reap a good harvest. A better way of reducing toxicity in pesticides is to improve pest control measures in eco-friendly ways. This will prompt farmers to automatically stop using highly toxic pesticides in their own interests.

Zhang Tiankan, deputy editor-in-chief at Encyclopedic Knowledge, April 21

Strict supervision is needed to ensure the move is implemented in letter and spirit. A deeper investigation revealed that supervising agency officials seldom made spot checks on the market. Instead, they waited for the farmers to send them samples. A good law is nothing without effective implementation.

Information Times, April 21

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