Editorial for 21 June: Paraquat ban is a no brainer

Some issues just shouldn’t need a petition to get action
from government.

The banning or restricting the use of paraquat from the
Cayman Islands is one such issue.

The Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture stopped
offering paraquat for sale in 2009, but so far our lawmakers haven’t seen fit
to impose regulations or legislation to stop individuals from importing the
herbicide.

Already 32 countries across the globe have banned or
restricted the use of paraquat.

Many international organisations such as Rainforest
Alliance, Fairtrade, Forest Stewardship Council and food giants like Dole have
voluntarily banned it from their production systems.

The businesses and groups have made the decision about
paraquat because it is dangerous to humans.

Paraquat is highly acutely toxic and enters the body mainly
by swallowing, or through damaged skin, but may also be inhaled.

In the Cayman Islands it seems to be the substance of choice
for those who would kill dogs.

While the idea of killing dogs with paraquat is abhorrent,
the thought of innocent children being injured by ingesting or getting the
herbicide on his or her skin is awful.

And that’s just what the people who are baiting food with
paraquat to kill dogs are doing – they are endangering humans who may come into
contact with the bait.

There are other herbicidal alternatives for those who need
to control weeds in their lawns and gardens. Paraquat isn’t the only answer.

If our Department of Agriculture has deemed it important
enough to stop importing paraquat and selling it, then our lawmakers should
take a clue and develop legislation to address the paraquat issue.

We seriously doubt any voter is going to withhold his vote
at the next general election because our lawmakers saw the wisdom in banning or
regulating paraquat.

Paraquat poisoning to dogs is nearly always fatal.

There is no antidote to paraquat poisoning in humans.

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Your editorial appropriately highlights the dangers of paraquat to both dogs and humans alike and also the fact that lawmakers haven’t seen fit to impose regulations or legislation to stop individuals from importing the herbicide. Shame on them. One wonders what are they waiting on. The poisoning of dogs with this substance has been published in the papers from to time and ought to create public awareness of this intolerable situation by now.

    It is hoped that both this editorial and the top story appearing in today’s Compass concerning a reward being offered for arrest and conviction of those responsible for poisoning dogs will get the attention and response by the powers that be.

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