AAPN seeks legislation to ban toxic pesticides from markets

The Alliance for Action on Pesticide in Nigeria (AAPN) has asked the Nigerian government to develop policies and legislation to prohibit the sale of toxic pesticides.

AAPN is also seeking global ban on the production, storage, and trade of highly hazardous pesticide active ingredients, that is legally binding under international law.

This is contained in a communique and Call for Action issued by AAPN in Abuja.

AAPN is a coalition of over 40 civil society organizations, academia, independent scientists and media professionals, who are committed to phasing out all highly hazardous pesticides (HHP), obsolete and adulterated pesticides from Nigeria and West Africa. AAPN seeks to achieve this through evidence-based advocacy, public sensitization, training and strengthening of institutions on pesticide hazards, and the promotion of more sustainable farm systems, and healthy and safer foods.

The communique stated: “Nigerian government should begin to develop pesticide policies and legislation that ensure that the most toxic pesticides are prohibited, pesticide use is generally reduced and that nature based alternatives (such as agroecology) are promoted.

It also urged the Nigerian government to review the mandates of the relevant MDAs, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Environment, Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, and their implementing departments and agencies, including NAQS, FMARD-FISS, NAFDAC, NESREA.

According to AAPN, this is to ensure proper division of labour and synergy in their roles in pesticide regulation and food safety.

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The communique also called on the National Agrncy for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to update and publish its 14-year-old list of banned pesticides, and develop and implement a phase-out plan for all registered but highly hazardous pesticides in Nigeria.

“The House of Representative Committee on Agriculture should continue to open up the space for public participation and engagement in the development of a pesticide legislation for Nigerians. The Committee should ensure that any legislation on pesticides is first in the interest of safeguarding the health of Nigerians and our environment, rather than maximizing the profits of agro companies.

“The National Assembly and the office of the Presidency should approve budgetary provisions to fund the meetings of the National Chemical Management Committee to improve inter-ministerial collaborations to end the poor management of HHPs and other highly toxic chemicals across the sectors.

“At the International level, AAPN wants FAO and WHO to publish a list of highly hazardous pesticide active ingredients, to be drawn up on the basis of their own criteria and regularly updated. This would form the basis for a global ban—binding under international law—on the production, storage, and trade of the active ingredients listed there.

“In view of the documented human rights violations, the assumption that pesticides are being used ‘safely’ proves illusory. In order to protect people and the environment from the consequences of the application of pesticides, legal regulations must therefore be tightened.


“The EU and countries who continue to export highly hazardous pesticides that have been banned in their markets should halt the production and sales of such pesticides, thereby ending their unethical policy of double standards.

“Whether in their pure form or as a component of pesticide products, active ingredients which are either banned in the EU or classified as highly hazardous by the WHO and/or EU categories should not be allowed to be traded by companies operating in Germany and the EU.

“To date, there are no binding regulations at the EU level that could prevent the export of active ingredients that are banned within the EU. The European Commission’s draft chemicals strategy should reinforce the commitment to prevent the export of hazardous chemicals banned in the EU.

“The Sustainable Use of Pesticide Directive should be published soon to support the reduction of pesticide use in the EU. This would set the right message to Nigeria.

“The EU and international development agencies should put all efforts into the support of resilient agricultural production, emphasizing the need for more agroecological strategies to ensure food sovereignty in Nigeria.

“The use of HHPs and pesticide that are banned elsewhere in the world should not be recommended in any of the development projects. Agricultural development projects should not have any links to the pesticide industry,” the communique added.


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