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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pest control group to answer issues related to use of inputs

BAGUIO CITY—The pest control industry has pledged to tackle squarely all issues raised against the use of inputs meant to control crop diseases and pests.

       Dr. Nap Saavedra, spokesman for the Pest Management Council of the  hilippines (PMCP), said more than 100 members of the council signed the PMCP Declaration which urged all sectors to abide by scientific findings on the use of pesticides in plantations all over the country.

       At the same time, Saavedra said PMCP members vowed to promote science-based agriculture and sponsor research to finally settle the issue of ailments related to aerial spraying and other modes of

pesticide use in banana plantations in Mindanao and other regions.

       Moreover, PMCP members opted unanimously to police their ranks and ban applications that do not meet the criteria of safety and environmental standards, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and the

regulations of the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority (FPA.)

       Nonetheless, it called on non-government organizations (NGOs) and other parties to consider scientific information before making allegations against scientifically-tested pest management


       Earlier, CropLife executive director Simeon Cuyson also urged non-government organizations (NGOs) to abide by a set of ethical practices covering allegations of toxicity of pesticides and their

long-term deleterious effects on the environment.

       Cuyson said CropLife and the PMCP are as interested as any other group in promoting socially-responsible and sustainable growth and development.

       In their 40th anniversary celebration in Baguio City, PMCP members  promised to promote environmental integrity and ensure the health and safety of communities adjacent to plantations.

       Antipas Criador, whose company is also a member of CropLife, also pointed out in a follow-up open forum that in the more than 40 years that the banana industry, and aerial spraying has been in operation in the burgeoning Davao region, Davao City has again been adjudged by the

World Health Organization (WHO) as having the best-quality drinking water in all the cities of the world.

       PMCP stressed in its declaration that it is committed to a viable and socially acceptable agriculture and explained that "pest management is an integral component of science-based agriculture's way of thinking about how to scientifically farm the land with more cost-efficient methods and protect its most productive results even as continuing research and discoveries guide us all to even much better, safer and more beneficial technologies."

       Jojo Alejar, President of the Crop Protection Association of the Philippines (CPAP), also part of PMCP, likewise emphasized that new global-positioning system (GPS) and flow-control aerial spray technologies further assure the safety of the communities around the plantations today.

       Max Obusan, chairman of CPAP, clarified that PMCP is a federation composed of scientific societies and other organizations that practice the highest standards of research and scientific development in the pest management industry.

       Noting the chasm that divides the scientific community and the society and public it hopes to serve, PMCP said it will take an active role in disseminating incontrovertible scientific information on the necessity of using pest-management technologies.

       The declaration argued that "recent food infections and other challenges to the food supply chain require even more vigilance and a greater understanding of the ecological web, and an abiding trust in

our scientific community."

       PMCP also expressed disappointment over attacks on pest control products "based on feeble and unscientific documentation, threatening to limit our people's recourse to such effective and viable methods that our people may require in the future."

       To counteract this, the council said it will pursue a policy of safe use of pesticides, including aerial spraying, and reposed its trust on the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the FPA in regulating all

pesticides and other agricultural inputs.


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