China bans five pesticides

As part of its national campaign for food safety, China's ministry of agriculture has banned the production and export of five highly poisonous pesticides. Gao Hongbin, vice-minister of agriculture, made the announcement at a media briefing organized by the State Council Information Office on October 30.

Since the country has banned the use of the five pesticides, including methamidophos, in agriculture from January this year, the ministry plans to forbid factories from producing them, Gao said. If production were allowed, even only for export, the pesticides could be used domestically, he said. Currently, 16 factories are producing the pesticides, mostly for export.

The move is part of a four-month quality-control campaign launched in August by the State Council to show the world that it is serious about its food and drug safety and product quality. The ministry has since revoked licences of seven enterprises and confiscated 479 tonnes of illegal pesticides.