China: Ag-Chem Crackdown

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The article states that farmers currently choose from as many as 23,000 products sold under 16,000 different names, creating uncertainty about what they are spraying on their crops and what the proper volumes should be.

“Right now there are more than 1,700 in common use, but there is a kaleidoscope of product names that a lot of people don’t know,” Wang Shoucong, deputy director of the ministry’s crop production department, was quoted as saying in a news conference.

“We must control remaining pesticides to safeguard our exports of agricultural products,” he said in a Web cast on the Ministry’s web site.

Wang said the Ministry will tighten registration procedures for pesticides, standardize packaging regulations to ensure the ingredients listed are legible, and generally reduce the number of products on the shelves.

“In this situation, farmers’ use of pesticides is ineffective and that inefficiency can cause losses,” said Cai Daoji of the Nanjing Environmental Studies Research Centre, in the news conference.

China has already banned five high toxicity pesticides as of Jan. 1, but experts say old stocks are still in the market in the hands of traders, retailers, and farmers.

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