22 March 2019

HK said to tweak pesticide residue law under mainland pressure

Hong Kong government is set to revise the Pesticide Residues in Food Regulation, which will take effect in August, with authorities said to be preparing to exempt three pesticides from the list of banned chemicals. Government documents reveal the move follows a suggestion from China’s State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), Cable TV reported Monday.

Over 300 pesticides are governed by the existing draft regulation on pesticide residues in food, but the government is set to take out Fosetyl-aluminium, Thidiazuron and Triphenyltin Hydroxide from the list, according to the report. The last of those three is proven to be cancer-causing and is banned in California, renowned biologist Dr Jack Kwan has pointed out.

The government defended its decision, claiming that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations did not make specific guidelines on the three pesticides in question, and there was no consensus on the pesticides in the international community.

The Food and Health Bureau (FHB) said the Centre for Food Safety, after scientific risk assessments, came to the conclusion that the pesticides will not pose health hazards. 

The government first proposed to take out the three pesticides from the ban-list in January, following the suggestion of a stakeholder. It was later revealed that the stakeholder was AQSIQ, and several overseas embassies, which have denied having made the suggestion.

– Contact HKEJ at [email protected]



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