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Committee formed to probe impact of herbicides

The Ministry of National Food Security and Research has formed a committee to investigate the impact of the rampant and wide-scale use of weed killers and herbicides in the country.

 The committee, constituted just days before Eidul Fitr, would work under the Pakistan Plant Protection Department (PPPD) director general. The committee was formed in the wake of apprehensions raised by The Ministry of Climate Change (MOCC) over the large-scale use of weed killers and herbicides in the country without measuring the impact they can have on human health and environment.

Ministry of Climate Change (MOCC) officials told The Express Tribune that ongoing legal battles around the world on the topic, including in the US, had apparently fascinated Ministry of Climate Change Secretary Syed Abu Ahmed Akif. The secretary subsequently wrote letters to the relevant ministries to highlight the issue.

In his letters to the ministries of food security and health, Akif strongly argued in favour of setting up committees comprising specialists to report whether the use of weed killers and herbicides was safe for human health apart from determining their impact on the climate.

In separate letters, Secretary Akif requested the food security ministry to set up a committee of specialists who would determine whether or not it was safe to continue using weed killers.

In a similar letter to the MNHRC, he sought an assessment of the impact of weed killers and pesticides on climate change and human health.

Anwar, Shahzad. Committee formed to probe impact of herbicides. The Express Tribune, June 29, 2017.

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