China warns of famine without pesticides
China would “undergo famine if pesticides were not used”. The warning has come in a recent Chinese Ministry of Agriculture document entitled “pesticide residues in agricultural products and related safety issues”, reports the national newspaper, the AgriGoods Herald. The assertion was met with scepticism from certain sectors of society. China has endured a number of food scares in recent years, such as when traces of the banned insecticide, isocarbophos, were found on cowpeas grown in Hainan province in 2010 ( Agrow No 589, p 23). Chinese plant protection industry insiders were quick to stress the necessity of pesticide usage, while also calling for greater regulation of pesticide use and increased promotion of low-residue chemical and biological pesticides.