The Council of Agriculture yesterday announced that three types of pesticide have been banned with immediate effect, while the use of another type is to be prohibited from next year.
Test results released recently by several civic groups have shown relatively high levels of pesticide residues on fruit and vegetables. For example, a report released by Greenpeace Taiwan last month showed pesticide residues on half of a sample of fruit and vegetables bought for testing, with permitted residue levels exceeded on about 15 percent of the produce.
Environmental groups have repeatedly urged the government to enforce stricter regulations on pesticides and ban some that are already prohibited in other countries.
The council announced that three types of pesticides used to tackle pests in storage barns and rats in fields — 0.5 percent phoxim, 0.1 percent diphacinone and 0.5 percent warfarin powders — have been banned as of yesterday.
The council also said that 75 percent fosthiazate emulsion, originally permitted for use on watermelons, tomatoes and pine trees, is harmful to aquatic organisms, birds and bees.
“As there are other, safer pesticides that can do the same job, the import, manufacturing and processing of 75 percent fosthiazate emulsion will be banned, starting on Jan. 1 next year,” the council said.
The council said it would continue to evaluate a further 22 types of potentially hazardous pesticides — containing 15 effective substances — and consider reducing their permitted levels, banning them or enforcing other measures to reduce the risks they pose.