Save Kenyans from harmful agro-chemicals

Uasin Gishu County Woman Representative Gladys Shollei has accused two government agencies of contravening the law by allowing importation and use of harmful agricultural chemicals.

In a petition she has tabled in the National Assembly, Ms Shollei claims Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services and Pest Control Products Board have breached local laws and global codes of conduct, thus exposing Kenyans to different chronic ailments.

The MP wants the Government to ban dozens of products that are used by local farmers, warning they can cause cancer and other health complications.

Shollei is not the only one who has warned about these products. Recently, Route to Food, an NGO, said more than 100 pest control products sold in Kenya contain harmful chemicals. Majority of the products, according to Route to Food, are manufactured in Europe using harmful chemicals. As a result, they are not sold in Europe.

Shollei and the NGO wants all these products withdrawn from our market. If it is true these products are harmful, they should be pulled off the shelves immediately. For it is foolhardy and suicidal for Kenya to continue using products that have been banned in countries where they are manufactured.

If indeed such products are being sold in our agrovets and used on our farms, its means these agencies have been asleep at the switch all along—they have forgotten the very reason they were put in place.

The Government needs to launch serious investigations to establish whether harzadous products are on sale locally. If this is found to be the case, those who allow their use must be punished severely.