Small-scale farmers in developing countries mostly use back-pack sprayers that pose high risk of exposure. <br/> Photo: ©FAO/Florita Botts
Small-scale farmers in developing countries mostly use back-pack sprayers that pose high risk of exposure.
Photo: © FAO/Florita Botts

06.06.2016

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FAO and WHO offer road map to deal with Highly Hazardous Pesticides.

New guidelines, called the “International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management”, aimed to reduce the damage done by pesticides that pose especially high toxic risks to human health and the environment, were released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in May 2016.

Products with high acute toxicity account for high numbers of immediate poisoning cases, particularly in developing countries, while products with chronic toxicity effects may cause cancer or developmental disorders among growing children.

In industrialised countries, such so-called "highly hazardous pesticides" may be no longer permitted or subject to strict use limitations, yet they often remain widely available in developing countries. Even hazardous products that are still permitted in industrialised countries can cause severe problems in the developing world, where use circumstances can be very different.

Better integrated pest management approaches could reduce the reliance on pesticides

Small-scale farmers in developing countries in particular often do not have, or use, the necessary protective gear and mostly use back-pack sprayers that pose high risk of exposure.

Restrictions on the use of such highly hazardous products often prove hard to enforce, leading to widespread use by untrained persons.

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