Suspension on aerial spray ban advised until release of health studies

Nov. 21, 2009

DAVAO CITY The economic development committee (EDC) wants the National Inter-agency Committee on Environmental Health (IACEH) to suspend any policy action on aerial spray ban until studies on health standards finally release results and validation.

The EDC awaits the technical review by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the Department of Health-commissioned study which investigated pesticide exposure covering Sitio Camocaan, Barangay Aplaya, Hagonoy, Davao del Sur.

The result of the study showed 52 percent of the respondents in the Camocaan community presented signs and symptoms of post-exposure to pesticides manifested by eye pain, eye tearing, headache, and other symptoms.

Local officials in Hagonoy belied the study results on the supposed adverse health effects of aerial spraying in the said community.

The EDC, for its part, discussed this issue and recently submitted a recommendation to the regional development council XI (RDC).

In its Resolution No 15, the committee recognizes the banana industry as one of the most important industries in Mindanao, generating a total of 720 million US dollars in export earnings and taxes of about 1.5 billion pesos annually.

Members of the committee see that drastic decisions on stopping aerial spraying of fungicides in banana plantation will have adverse economic and social effects for the Davao region given the lack of viable alternatives at the moment. (PIA XI)

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