The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines has imposed a ban on the importation of the herbicide called Roundup.
The decision follows the result of a major legal battle in the United States over the weed killer.
The story was carried by most news networks across the US, including CNN, whose headline reads; “Jurors give $289 million to a man they say got cancer from Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer”.
In a statement dated August 23rd, 2018, Hon. Saboto Caesar, Minister of Agriculture St. Vincent and the Grenadines, issued a warning to stakeholders in the region not to take the first instance of the ruling in the Roundup case lightly. “In fact, the decision of the court is a very serious matter,” he said.
Caesar emphasized the immediate need for a coordinated engagement of all technicians in the Caribbean Community, with the support from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other stakeholders in order to obtain credible technical guidance.”
News of the Monsanto-Roundup case has rocked the agriculture community around the world. Farmers are questioning the safety of roundup and other similar chemicals, and, if not, what are the alternatives?
According to the statement coming out from the local Ministry of Agriculture, “the Pesticides Board of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has summoned an emergency meeting to begin the co-ordination of efforts to best advise stakeholders in the industry.”
The statement says “this brings also into sharp questioning the decades of concerns on the safety of aerial spraying, which is only currently done in St. Vincent and the Grenadines of the former Windward Island banana producing nations.
At present the option of replacing aerial spraying with 100% ground crew operations is under review.
The Banana Services Unit is expected to release later this month the feasibility study for removing the spray plane, known as Peter Plane as a crop duster from the skies of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
The statement further indicated that “the Ministry has already engaged several entities to promote organic production platforms within the local agriculture sector.
CERES an internationally accredited agency has already come to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and has started work with several farmers. He encouraged that these efforts should be regionally promoted throughout all agricultural food production systems.”
Minister Caesar “concluded that, the maintenance of a safe and productive food system is at all times a prime target of the Ministry.
The Pesticides Board of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has moved to suspending the importation of Round-up, Touch down and Glyphos and any other product containing the active ingredient Glyphosate pending a technical review.”