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DO NOT FEED GRAPES FROM CHILE AT THIS TIME

Crossposted:

DO NOT FEED GRAPES FROM CHILE AT THIS TIME.

PLEASE CROSS POST THIS LINK TO ALL ANIMAL FORUMS !!



Sterling from All Cape Parrot has lost 8 birds
tonight. I am on the phone w/ him now. I will go into
greater detail after trying to comfort him.


Supposedly this guy just lost several 'toos and macaws, all within 3
minutes of
each other. All had eaten 1/2 a grape about 20 mins or so before
showing signs
of illness. His daughter is also ill. Birds will be necropsied in the
AM and
he has turned the grapes over to his state's health dept for analysis.

Here is the article concerning this:

PESTICIDE POISONINGS IN CHILE SHOW SHARP INCREASE

Pesticide Poisonings Could Threaten Agriculture Exports

(Feb. 4, 2005) There were 285 victims of pesticide-related poisoning
in November and December of 2004, nearly three times as many as in
2003, according to the Health Ministry.

The 132 poisonings recorded in December more than tripled World
Health Organization (WHO) estimates and more than doubled the Health
Ministry's most pessimistic forecasts.

Dep. Adriana Muñoz of the Party for Democracy (PPD) denounced the
number of pesticide accidents in 2004, saying the two fatalities and
568 intoxications were unacceptable. Although January's statistics
have not yet been released, specialists predict that the worrying
trend will continue.

The sharp rise in the number of known cases is partly due to new
regulations, which took effect in October, making it compulsory to
notify the Health Ministry of pesticide-related poisonings within 48
hours.

The ministry suspects some employers were concealing cases of
chemical poisoning prior to the ruling, given the high number of
temporary workers, the majority of whom have no employment contract
and some of whom may be working illegally.

A joint Agricultural and Labor Ministry initiative hopes to put an
end to such practices. "Job Done, Contract Signed," launched last
month, aims to encourage informal workers to refuse to do jobs where
they will not be protected by an employment contract.

"The important issue is to implement better standards and working
conditions more quickly, with particular focus on the health of
agricultural workers," said Labor Minister Ricardo Solari.

About 5,200 agricultural workplaces will be subjected to a Labor
Ministry inspection before the end of 2005 to ascertain whether
safety standards are being met. In addition, the Heath Ministry will
carry out 2,000 inspections to ensure agricultural workers' health is
not being jeopardized.

It is hoped that the findings of the inspections will push the
government to introduce new legislation regulating the use of
herbicides and pesticides.

Muñoz said any such law should also restrict where fumigation can
take place to avoid repeats of a 2003 incident where 30 children
suffered chemical poisoning after an aerial fumigation near their
school (ST, Oct. 29, 2003).

But the real battle is to persuade agricultural firms and pesticide
producers to adhere to any new government initiatives.

"The frequency of these pesticide accidents show that (companies) are
not complying with any of the current laws because fines are very
low," said María Elena Rozas, regional coordinator of the Latin
American Network for Action to find Alternatives to Pesticides (RAP-
AL).

Given that the 10 main producers of agricultural materials control 84
percent of the world market and saw total sales of around US$3
billion in 2000, small fines are not a big enough threat.

Confronted with the economic power that these multinationals wield,
the pesticide problem has become a development issue. Poorer nations
forced to relax regulations governing the use of pesticides and
choose cheaper but are potentially harmful products.

The three most-used pesticides in Chile – Folpet, Linuron and
Carbaril – are banned in Malaysia, Norway and Jordan respectively.
Three other pesticides, Aclonifen, Metidation and Teflutrina, are
only classified as moderately harmful substances in Chile, despite
their WHO classification as highly dangerous.

Given lax regulation of pesticide use in the developing world, it is
not surprising that statisticians from the United Nations Food and
Agriculture Organization found that 99 percent of cases of pesticide-
related poisoning occur in developing countries.

Rozas said Chilean authorities should ensure tighter controls on the
use of pesticides that can cause health problems.

"Many products can affect the reproductive system, while others, such
as teratogenic pesticides that are still being used, can cause cancer
or congenital deformities," she said.

Rozas added that Chile should be especially cautious because of its
important agricultural export market.

Chile's agricultural exports have been put under international
scrutiny twice in recent years when traces of pesticides were found
on Chile

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