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Friday, September 30, 2005 - The Government of Saint Lucia through the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has announced plans to establish a National Agricultural Health, Food and Safety Committee.

In a national address to mark Pesticides Awareness Week from September 26th to 1st October, 2005 the Agriculture Minister Hon. Ignatius Jean said the committee will be inclusive and with a broad mandate.

“We have approved the establishment of a national Agricultural Health, Food Safety and Standards Committee whose mandate is to establish national mechanism that strengthens the capacity of the country to protect human, plant and animal health as they relate to domestic and international Trade. The membership of this committee will include representatives from the public and private sector, commercial and scientific agencies.”

He underscored the Ministry’s efforts to maintain the right balance between health, safety and the use of toxic substances.

“How can we balance the risks to humans, plants animals and the environment posed by the presence of toxic substance as against the benefits of society? We cannot prevent
The use of pesticides and toxic chemicals in our country but we can ensure that they are utilized and managed wisely so as to safe guard human health, our natural resources and our environment, while enhancing our economic development.”

The theme for the observance of Pesticides Awareness Week is “Integrating Actions for Safe Chemical Management.” The announcement of the new committee adds to several initiatives aimed at developing policies, strategic action plans and legislation regarding safety and protection in the Agricultural sector.

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