Sad news, we’ve just heard that five more lions have died as a result of pesticide poisoning. We are waiting for results. The Kenya Wildlife Service has come out loud and clear about the role that Furadan is playing in the killing of lions.This graph says it all. Of the 100 lions killed in the last 12 months, 34% were poisoned with Furadan and another 8% with other pesticides and 2% with strychnine (a rodenticide). These data show that pesticide poisoning of lions is the number 1 cause of mortality for lions in Kenya.
I have even more bad news. Enoch has just came back from Tanzania and brought me a gift – a 200 g package of Furadan purchased a local Agrovet Store. It cost 2,700TZ shillings that’s $1.50.
The package says it is distributed by Juanco SPS ltd which is based in Nairobi, Kenya, and the date of manufacture is November 2008.
If you recall, FMC the manufacturer of Furadan announced to us on April 15th 2009 in Nairobi that they had not sent any product to Kenya since May 2008.
“When allegations surfaced in the spring of 2008 in the Maasai Mara region, we immediately stopped the introduction of any additional Furadan into the sales channel in Kenya”
If you read the minutes carefully you will note that FMC asked us to submit all incident reports involving Furadan pesticide poisoning to the Pests Control Products Board in Kenya. We do this and we copy to FMC diligently. However, to date we have had no response from the PCPB – they have not investigated a single incident that we reported, but yet they claim that they suspect we are tampering with samples and incidents. Indeed I was asked if I expected anyone to believe that the public were eating birds poisoned with furadan. If only they would take the short trip to Bunyala or Ahero to see for themselves! I’m sorry but their attitude just feels down right irresponsible.
It’s true, it is an offence to misuse any pesticide product according to the Pests Control Products Act, however, the PCPB is responsible for assessing and evaluating pest control products. Teh Board may refuse to register a pst control product if in its opinion the use of the product would lead to unacceptable risk or harm to things in relation to its intended use, or public health, plants, animals or the enviroment. The Board can suspend or revoke a certificate of registration if new information has become available tot eh board which renders the pest control product unsafe or dangerous. We have looked at a number of websites and we believe that carbofuran cannot be used safely in Kenya where most farmers do not use protective gear, are sometimes illiterate and are often untrained.
The World Health Organization (WHO) data sheet on pesticides no. 56 which is about carbofuran states that all workers must be medically examined, wear full protective gear including respirators and that “all formulations must carry labeling DANGER – POISON” with skull and cross bones.
The US Environmental Protection Agency EPA says that “dietary, worker and ecological risks are unacceptable for all uses of carbofuran”
Sadly the Kenyan PCPB are not willing to listen, they have not responded to our reports and claim that we are fabricating the photographs and evidence that is contained in these blogs. For this reason they claim, they will not investigate. Hang on, doesn’t that sound odd? If they suspect I’m fabricating data then why not prove it and then discredit everything I’m saying? Thankfully the media are not convinced that I’m a compulsive liar and judging from recent reports, there is growing concern about this.
It is very depressing that the Kenya government which has already overseen such suffering of people continue to let us down. It is even sadder that the worlds richest nation bans toxic pesticides to protect it’s own population, but sees no wrong in sending them to poor countries like Kenya.