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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Crack down on illegal pesticide outlets in Dubai

By PMA RASHEED 
23 Nov 2010, The Gulf Today
About 110 litres of prohibited pesticides have been seized in Dubai, in addition to heavy fines being imposed on 119 erring pesticide warehouses and agricultural establishments for non-compliance with civil specifications.
Several vehicles were also booked for selling date palm plants without permission from the authorities, according to Dubai Municipality (DM), which carried out a massive inspection campaign jointly with the Department of Economic Development (DED).
Officers at DM's public parks and horticulture department have confiscated the unlicensed pesticides and destroyed them at the disposal site for hazardous waste at Jebel Ali.
A fine of Dhs6,000 has been issued to owners of the establishments for running warehouses without a valid permit from the municipality, said a DM spokesperson.
"The 'illegal' warehouses, with low-quality pesticides and imitation fertilizers were refilled in plastic containers, and were mainly found in Karama area as the inspection covered a total of 642 such establishments including flower stalls, nurseries, fertilizer plants and horticultural pesticide traders," he added.
According to him, the warehouses in Karama area were caught for filling agricultural pesticides and liquid fertilizers from the original containers to other plastic containers of different sizes.
"Ten pesticides (Vindona) in one litre containers; 71 insecticides (Mouseblan) in packets of 100 gms; 93 refilled pesticide containers with no labels to indicate capacity of the packages; an eight litre of target cockroach gel; and three rolls, each one with 620 empty plastic containers with a total of 1,860 containers were included in the seizure," elaborated a DM statement.
It added, "The unlicensed street vendors were found random-selling date palm plants, taken from unknown sources, in residential areas such as Oud Al Muteena, Al Khawaneej, Al Mizhar, Al Aweer, Al Hibab, Al Warqa and Al Barsha. About 76 palm trees were offered for the illegal sale."
"Nine vehicles, used for sale of the date palm plants in these areas, were also seized by the inspectors. The owners were warned for unlicensed horticultural activities in addition to fines imposed by the DED."
The offenders were trapped in a drive to prevent the spread of horticultural pests in the emirate, while stopping practices of bogus establishments in offering pest protection to consumers.
The Municipality has urged the public not to deal with illegal pesticide traders, in view of the hazardous impact of inferior types of palms that help spread of agricultural pests, especially red palm weevils.
"The farmers should only rely on palm pants traded by specialised and licensed companies," said municipality.
(Photo used for illustrative purpose only)

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