According to the Registrar of the PCA, Michael Ramsay, persons should be vigilant when purchasing pesticides, as the Authority has found many of the substances being sold are not authentic. Pesticides imported illegallyHe said his officers have also identified pesticides which have entered the country illegally. The public is urged not to purchase these pesticides they may contain harmful substances. Ramsay said the biggest offender is black mosquito coils, for which the Authority has not received an application for registration. The Registrar said the problem is further compounded by the inability of some farmers to afford expensive pesticides. This has resulted in some farm stores illegally opening the manufacturer’s container, then repackage for retail in smaller containers. Fake rat bait “Our officers recently purchased a product being sold as rat bait. Upon testing the substance, we found there was nothing in it that could kill a rat. Persons buying that particular product is only feeding the rats,” Ramsay added. Problematic to consumer’s healthHe pointed out that some of the illegal pesticides contain active ingredients that are known to be problematic to consumer’s health. As such, applications for registration of those products would most likely be turned down. Ramsay also disclosed that the popular mosquito repellant wristbands are also illegal as no application for registration of the product has been received by the PCA. He explained that the PCA must approve the label on every pesticide in the country before the necessary permission is given for its retail sale. “People create their own concoctions and sell them. Persons who are buying them do not know what they are getting,” he told the Jamaica Information Service (JIS). Ramsay also indicated it’s illegal to take a company’s branded product and sell it as something else, and that persons who do so are breaking the law. “We don’t really know how much of a health risk the coil is, but we have received reports that children and people with respiratory problems have been affected.” “This is usually done with no label, safety information or instructions for how to use it. The users have no way of knowing if what they are buying is the real thing. It could be diluted or turn out not to be that product at all,” he warned. The Pesticides Control Authority (PCA) is warning Jamaicans against purchasing and using illegal pesticides.