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Use of pesticides

The production of fruit and vegetables plays an important role in the agricultural sector.

Due to the fact that this type of production is affected by pests and diseases, it is essential that plants are protected to avoid yield reductions.

One of the most important methods to protect plants and plant products and the agricultural production is the use of pesticides.

Nonethelss, the use of these products may potentionally cause risks and dangers to humans, animals and the environment. Consequently, everybody has the right to be well informed about these potentional risks and dangers, and the authority has the duty to ensure that pesticides are used responsibly.

With this in mind the European Commission has established a framework for community action to achieve sustainable use of pesticides. Regulations have also been implemented.

The regulations include a number of requisites which should be adapted.

Particular focus is given to the general public, bystanders and, in particular, vulnerable groups.

One of the requisites is that the use of pesticides should be minimised or prohibited in specific areas, including public parks and gardens, sports and recreation grounds, school and children’s playgrounds and areas close to healthcare facilities.

Pesticides should be applied during periods of low human activity, such as during night time or very early on weekdays in case of parks and grounds.

Clearly visible signs should also be put up when pesticides are being applied, and for a minimum of two hours after application.

This information is provided by the Regulatory Affairs Directorate of the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority’s Technical Regulations Divsion.

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