Former Saint Lucia Agriculture Minister, Moses Jn Baptiste, has expressed concern over the use of agro-chemicals, especially in the banana industry.
“We have always been very concerned that banana farmers in particular in Saint Lucia throughout the decades have been exposed to chemicals that in one form or another have been deemed dangerous or carcinogenic,” Jn Baptiste told St Lucia Times.
“I is very important for policy makers to focus on this issue and spend a lot more time discussing with farmers and business people and the wider society about the impact on our population,” the Vieux Fort North MP observed.
He recalled that when he was Minister of Agriculture, there was a programme dealing with the package, storing and shipment of obsolete chemicals.
Jn Baptiste said the process was led by the Pesticide Control Board.
The former minister declared that the use of agro-chemicals is an area of serious concern that should be addressed.
He spoke against the backdrop of reports that in Martinique and Guadeloupe a pesticide linked to cancer – chlordecone – was sprayed on banana crops for two decades and now nearly all the adult local residents have traces of it in their blood.
According to the BBC French President Emmanuel Macron has called it an “environmental scandal” and said the state “must take responsibility”.
The French parliament is holding a public inquiry which will report its findings in December, the BBC reported.