In a recent statement the FMC responded to the rebroadcasting of the CBS 60 Minutes show on the poisoning of lions.
Note my comments in bold italics against their claims reproduced here
In The News
· We expanded our contact with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Africa to improve reporting of suspected poisonings.July 26, 2009 FMC Response to 60 Minutes Rebroadcast of Story on Kenyan Lion Poisonings
Apart from the Masai Wildlands Trust we are not aware of any other NGO’s that FMC are talking to in Kenya and FMC have not responded to any of the incident reports sent and Linda Froelich has stopped responding to our emails
On Sunday, July 26, CBS News 60 Minutes rebroadcasted a story on the human-wildlife conflict in Kenya that reports Furadan®, an FMC insecticide, has become the preferred product that many cattle herders use to poison lions that kill their livestock. As we stated when the story first aired in March, FMC strongly condemns the misuse of its products that are clearly intended to be used for crop protection. We are very concerned about allegations that the product has been used illegally to kill wildlife. The company has taken several actions to address the situation including:
· Stopped all sales of Furadan to Kenya immediately after learning of an incident in May 2008.
· Initiated a Furadan buy-back program in Kenya in March 2009 to remove any remaining product from the market. Our distributor and conservation groups, such as the Maasailand Preservation Trust, report that Furadan is no longer stocked in Agrovet stores.
This is not true. Carbofuran remains available throughout Kenyan Agrovets.
The distributors website (Juanco) does not mention that Furadan is toxic to human beings and must be handled with great care. We believe that the impression given through the label is that Furadan is a safe product. Juanco now markets itself as safe through the tag line promise ‘Juanco going biological’.
· FMC’s distributor discontinued Furadan sales into Tanzania and Uganda in April 2009. Packages of Furadan in Tanzanian agrovet stores show that carbofuran is still coming into Tanzania from imports via Kenya
· FMC has offered to subsidize Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) lab analysis of samples of animals suspected to have been poisoned with Furadan. The KEPHIS lab uses a more expensive but substantially more sensitive analytical test than other Kenyan labs.
We have seen nothing in writing to confirm this and the KEPHIS laboratories seem oblivious of this. They have refused to test our samples
· FMC has requested all information about suspected wildlife poisonings from the Kenyan Wildlife Service under their official procedures.
The official procedure is not to report to FMC but to the Pest Control Products Board in Kenya (PCPB) who have not met with KWS or conservationists to discuss concerns. Neither the PCPB nor FMC have responded to any of our submitted reports. On phone the PCPB CEO insisted that the data collected did not constitute facts that they could go on – dates, locations, photographs of incidents, samples collected, confessions.
In April, FMC sent a second team to Kenya (first team was sent in March 2008) to get a more comprehensive understanding of intentional misuse of chemicals in the longstanding human-wildlife conflict. The team met with several NGOs as well as government officials from both the Pest Control Products Board (PCPB) and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). The NGOs made a firm commitment to report all suspected cases of lion poisonings involving Furadan directly to the government and to FMC. To help encourage accurate reporting, we sent the NGOs specific information on what to look for if witnessing a poisoning event or if poisoned animals are found as well as our offer to subsidize lab analyses through KEPHIS. We continue to strongly encourage NGOs to include substantiated evidence to support their reports to government and FMC on suspected Furadan intoxications.
FMC is a global company dedicated to delivering innovative products that improve the lives of people around the world. We take tremendous pride, not only in our products, but in our stewardship programs. We will continue to work with the Kenyan government, agricultural industry and conservation groups to try to prevent the misuse of Furadan and any other pesticides used to kill wildlife.
From where we sit FMC make gross exaggerations about their stewardship programs in third world countries. FMC are aware of the scale of misuse of Furadan in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana and other countries. FMC do not monitor whether Furadan is being used safely by farmers or test for contamination of groundwater or test for residues on crops produced and sold in local markets. Whatever information FMC has on the impact of Furadan on workers, consumers, users and the environment are not shared with any of the conservation organizations concerned about this product.
Furadan use is not restricted in East Africa. Users of Furadan can buy this deadly product over the counter for a very small fee throughout East Africa. Users are not registered, trained nor warned about the dangers of misuse, spills or symptoms of poisoning. It is sold in Agrovets (kiosks) by non professionals and in locatiosn that do not have effective poison control mechanisms, poison treatment centers, toxicology centers, residue monitoring of products, safe poison disposal mechanisms, pesticide monitoring or enforcement systems in place. FMC knows that Agrovets in East Africa actively offer Furadan to buyers as “Lion kille”. They have done nothing to raise local awareness about the dangers and penalties of misuse. Despite the evidence sent to FMC and the PCPB, no Kenyan has been charged and found guilty of Furadan misuse.
We invite FMC to reconsider the impact of their product on users, consumers and wildlife in Africa and withdraw the product completely and dispose of it safely while discontinuing the production of so dangerous a pesticide. The Kenyan pest control board have responded negatively to reports sent to them and declared that they will not investigate reports made by WildlifeDirect. The FMC could help by insisting that these investigations be carried out.