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Pesticide blitz targets farmsqrcode

Sep. 25, 2007

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Sep. 25, 2007
CHINA is going all out in a nationwide agricultural swoop to halt the use of banned pesticides and limit animal feed additives and fertilizers.

Since a crackdown was launched last month 10 people have been arrested, 95 companies without appropriate licenses closed, and the business licenses of another six firms revoked.

The figures were released yesterday by Gao Hongbin, vice minister of agriculture.

The Ministry of Agriculture is "targeting 100 percent surveillance of large- and medium-sized cities" in the hunt for illegal pesticides and feed additives, Gao told a press conference in Beijing.

Gao said authorities are also targeting the illegal production, sale and application of five types of pesticides.

The ministry was attaching great importance to agricultural inspections. There will also be random checks for pesticide residue in farm produce.

However, Gao stressed that offenders are in the minority.

"More than 93 percent of the vegetables are safe in terms of pesticide residue and more than 98 percent of meat products are up to scratch concerning the remains of clenobuterol hydrochloride," Gao said.

Clenobuterol hydrochloride is a muscle-developing drug some farmers feed to pigs before selling them. It has been abolished due to side effects, including human-heart problems.

The quality of Chinese farm produce has been improving over the years, Gao said.

The five types of highly toxic pesticides on the banned list include methamidophos and parathion.

"We aim to confiscate and destroy all toxic pesticides," he said. "We also aim to bring all the wholesale markets in the large and medium-sized cities under quality surveillance."

He said 479, or 71 percent, of the 676 wholesale markets in cities were being monitored.

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