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Businesses Found In Breach Of Pesticides Act

The Consumer Council of Fiji and the Ministry of Agriculture have issued a stern warning to businesses and individuals that no pesticides may be used, offered for sale or sold in Fiji unless it has been registered with the Registrar of Pesticides. Individuals and businesses are also being cautioned that it is illegal to change or temper the formulation of any registered pesticide without the approval of the Registrar.

This warning comes after the Council and the Ministry received multiple complaints from aggrieved consumers of businesses and individuals retailing pesticides which does not meet its prescribed function and effectiveness. In one such complaint lodged at the Council; a consumer purchased two bottles of an insecticide formulation for household pests at a discounted price of $45 to kill bed bugs. Despite applying this pesticide, the consumer did not see any results. Suspecting that the pesticide was counterfeit, the consumer sought the Council’s assistance. Upon investigation, the Council uncovered that the said pesticide has not been approved for registration; sale and use – making it illegal in Fiji.

Further investigations by the Council also yielded that certain businesses are retailing chemicals which are not in the original container and has either improper, modified or no labelling at all which is a serious breach of the Pesticides Act.

Consumer Council of Fiji Chief Executive Officer Ms Seema Shandil is calling on businesses retailing pesticides to meet all the legally prescribed criteria and is also encouraging consumers to report unauthorized sale of such products. “These legally mandated requirements for the sale of pesticides are in place in order to protect the users and pesticide handlers due to its toxicity and poisonous nature and failure to do so is placing the health and safety of Fijian consumers at risk. Therefore, the Council will be closely working with the Ministry of Agriculture so that appropriate actions are taken against any possible perpetrators.”

The CEO further stressed that all chemicals must have proper labelling as per the Pesticides Act. Reformulating or mixing of pesticides with improper and no labelling would mean consumers are not aware of the concentration, rate of application and directions for use which may result in incorrect handling and ineffective doses of pesticides.

Consumers are reminded that all registered pesticides that are retailed in Fiji should be registered with an approved label containing a Pesticide Registration number from Registrar of Pesticides Fiji (Ministry of Agriculture). Consumers coming across businesses retailing chemical pesticides which is in breach of the Pesticides Act are encouraged to lodge a complaint using the toll-free number 155 or via the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app. Alternatively, consumers can contact the Ministry of Agriculture on ph:3384233/ 3477044/9907315 or email agrihelp@govnet.gov.fj

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