The ruling by the supreme court against revocation of carbofuran tolerances on food in the United States yet again shows us the way to go concerning carbofuran. Clearly, the substance is not justifiably safe.
When FMC announced that they were withdrawing supply of Furadan to Kenya (& East Africa) in 2009, for a moment we believed that biodiversity would be a little safer. But we needed more than just have Furadan withdrawn by the manufacturer. Specifically the Kenyan law on Furadan (other deadly toxic pesticides) needed to specify its position as far as legislation of deadly toxic pesicide is concerned especially following voluntary withdrawal by the legal manufacturer and licenced supplier of the product.
Indeed we saw invigorated buy-back by the Kenyan distributor, JUANCO and welcome support by FMC to be informed where the pesticide was still at large. In a few months, the agrovet shops were out of stock of the poison. Incidences of lion poisoning seemed on the decline whereas bird poachers at irrigation schemes seemed to be absorbed into other professions like fishing and crop farming for the case of Bunyala.
But soon what we feared for most of the indifferent law, its legislators and the enforcers started manifesting itself- Furadan was again within easy reach of poachers….& now, there are ‘new’ forms of the product!Boom! we are in an even more worying situation. Furadan 5G still remains legal in Kenya. Actually it might never even have been withdrawn at all. JUANCO still advertises it on their website whereas the bird poachers applaud the original (FMCs) Furadan as a remarkable biocide and maintain their use of the product even presently.
In my quest for status quo of this lethal killer at the poisoning hot spot in Bunyala, I stumbled on a version that poachers term as not ideal for bird poisoning. Nonetheless, somebody’s got to be using it albeit its unknown true identity and effects.
The substance is packed in a container similar to that of FMC’s Furadan 5G but for the blue cap and seeming faded instructions label. Further, it is strong smelling, crystaline, and the purple (and some black) crystals are certainly coloured by some sort of powder otherwise just clear crystals. The substance also seems to dissolve more readily than the Furadan that was known of FMC.
Compare the container above with the familiar package on this earlier post.
Label showing manufacturer, distributor and production date (has nearly out-lived its shelf life)
Purple and black heterogenous crystals
Crystals readily colouring the water even before shaking
Some of the crystals (at the edges) totally discoloured upon shaking the mixture.
Counterfeits are enjoying Furadan’s legal status and its high demand for abuse in Kenya while human and wildlife livelihoods languish in danger from intoxication.