Warning on illegal pesticides

Kate PollardThe West Australian
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Australia is a target for an increasing global trade in illegal pesticides, believes CropLife Australia.

The peak industry body for chemicals and biotechnology has launched a public awareness campaign into the dangers of illegal pesticides for agriculture, human health, environment and economy.

In Europe, illegal pesticides are believed to make up 10 per cent of the market, and in Australia numerous investigations have been undertaken by Customs and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

"We are aware of some incidents reported in recent years of potentially illegal and poor quality chemical being used in WA," said CropLife Australia chief executive Matthew Cossley.

He said the strong Australian dollar, coupled with growing production in Asia, established transport links and a strong market for cheap products had created a perfect environment for criminal operators.

CropLife recommends buying only from reputable distributors, avoid internet/email deals from unknown suppliers and buy products with English instructions.

It also recommended farmers check the label for an APVMA/NRA approval number.

CropLife member companies follow a strict code of conduct for safety, stewardship and product quality in line with the United Nation's International Code of Conduct on Distribution and Use of Pesticides.

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