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Saturday, January 15, 2005
Chemical pesticides are like tsunamis, professor says
By Aurea A. Gerundio

A TOXICOLOGIST urged the local government and agricultural industries to stop using chemical pesticides because of its harmful effects to the human body.

Romy Quijano, a professor of the College of Medicine of the University of the Philippines Manila, during his visit to the city Friday said chemicals in pesticides are like "tsunamis that kill not only a few people but millions."

"These chemicals are tsunamis that should make us remain alarmed. There are, in fact, chemicals that stay even for 100 years in the environment," Quijano said.

Quijano had been in the city in 2003 when he spoke before the City Council regarding the ill effects of pesticides used in banana and pineapple plantations. His appearance at the council was also in time for the campaign to protect the city's watersheds from encroachment of plantations.

On December 3 last year, Quijano was in the city in time for the celebration of the "No pesticide use day."

Quijano admitted that they are having difficulty in stopping big corporations from using pesticides, in which the chemical ingredients are even banned for use in the Philippines including the paraquat, methyl bromide, lindane and tridemorph.

"We have to create a counterforce to minimize coercive power of corporations. We have to direct citizen's movement by intensifying education to the public especially the farmers na hindi medisina 'yong pesticides na ginagamit nila kundi lason," Quijano said.

Quijano said there is no kind of chemical pesticide that will not harm human beings.

"These chemical pesticides do not only destroy the insects or the pests but also human beings," Quijano said.

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