Court orders government to continue pesticides test on imported farm produce

- RAJESH KHANAL, Kathmandu

Jul 11, 2019-

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a stay order against the government move to revoke the testing of pesticide residues on agriculture produce imported from India.

The court has asked the government authorities to continue testing the imported vegetables and fruits to find out chemical contamination.

The stay order came in response to a writ filed by the Forum for Protection of Consumer Rights against July 3 Cabinet move of withdrawing government’s earlier decision to conduct pesticide residue tests on imported agriculture produce.

[Read: All you need to know about the debate over pesticide residue tests]

Advocate Bishnu Prasad Timilsina and advocate Top Kumari Kharel on Tuesday had filed the writ on behalf of the forum.

Jyoti Baniya, president of the forum, said they filed the writ making the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies and the governments of all seven provinces the defendants.

[Read: Decisions over pesticide tests reveal how the government takes ad hoc measures]

The court has asked the authorities concerned to be present with work progress since the implementation of pesticide testing work on June 17 when the Cabinet first took the decision to that effect.

On June 17, the government published the decision in the Nepal Gazette, making pesticide residue tests mandatory on all imported agriculture produce.

But after the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu raised concerns over Nepal’s move of testing pesticide residue on agriculture produce from India, the government rescinded the earlier decision.

[Read: Nepal continues to import pesticides at an alarming rate, government’s own data shows]

The government, however, has maintained that the decision to conduct chemical tests on farm products from India was halted because of lack of infrastructure and human resources.

The Supreme Court has asked all concerned parties to appear before the court on July 15 for further discussion.

Published: 11-07-2019 07:57

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