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Draft Plant Protection Act in its Final Stages of Development

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Friday, November 25, 2005 - Ministry of Agriculture officials are now looking forward to the completion of a “Draft Plant Protection Act “ following the execution of its final consultation with stakeholders on the formulation of the document.

The process which has been ongoing for four years is based on a model act which was developed by the Food and Agricultural Organization, the FAO. Other organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (ICCA) have all made their input which has since saw the update of certain legislation in the FAO Act dealing with agricultural health and food safety.

“We've been at a few consultations such as this earlier in the process looking at the legislation and trying to guide the legislative drafters in meeting all of the requirements that the legislation made provisions for,” said Danley Auguste, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The modernized version will replace the Plant Protection Act number 21 of 1988. The objective of the Act is to protect the plant resources of St. Lucia. Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Honourable Ignatius Jean says the legislation will also prevent the introduction and spread of plant pest and diseases and additionally to take measures if necessary to protect those plant resources.

“The type of environment we operate today, we have to keep re-examining a lot of our legislation and make them more relevant to times that we are living in. With respect to a lot of matters concerning international trade and lots of standards that are being set in the international arena and at a local level,” Said Minister Jean.

The Minister says consumers have become very sophisticated and are very concerned about what they are consuming. As such, He says, Government through this piece of legislation will also ensure the protection of citizens and visitors alike from dangers that may arise from the systems of crop and animal productions.

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