Environmental Health in Israel | 2014

In May 2003, in order to promote sustainable development, the government directed the MoAg to reduce use of pesticides and to develop targets and indices for assessing the effectiveness of this effort. In May 2010, the MoAg published a strategic plan for sustainable agriculture which includes a policy for reducing the number of approved pesticides and the amounts of applied pesticides. Promotion of methods like biological pest control and integrated pest management are expected to reduce pesticide use. In addition, a number of pesticides have been phased out in recent years (Table 1) and this trend is expected to continue. Table 1 lists the active ingredients that have been prohibited or limited to critical uses in recent years. Carbamate pesticides were re-evaluated in 2014 and 3 additional active ingredients will be phased out (carbaryl, benfuracarb, and carbosulfan). Pesticide Residues Permitted pesticide residue levels are established in three regulations and/or ordinances.  Regulations on permitted pesticide residues (1991) are under the joint responsibility of the MoH and the MoAg. In 2011, the Supervision of Plant Production and Marketing Law came into effect (under the purview of the MoAg). Efforts are currently underway to implement regulations that will facilitate tracing pesticide residues in food back to the grower.  Regulations from 1971 (under the purview of the MoAg) which address the issue of animal feed are expected to be replaced in 2014 by new legislation which will regulate permitted levels of pesticides in animal feed, and will require tracing the path of food to the animal and from the animal to human beings.  Regulations from 2000 address permitted pesticide levels in animal-based food. These regulations are under the authority of the MoAg. The permitted residue levels are determined in cooperation with the National Food Service (MoH). Sanitation Regulations from 1994 that are based on the Hazardous Materials Law address the issue of pesticide formulations for sanitation use. Regulations from 1975 address pesticide applicators. New legislation on pesticide applicators was submitted to the Knesset in 2014. The Pest and Pest Control Division at the MoEP is responsible for ensuring that only licensed pesticide applicators engage in sanitation pest control, that they use only permitted substances, and that these substances be applied in accordance with the products' labeled instructions. In 2007, the MoEP prohibited household use of pesticides that contain organophosphates, chlorpyriphos and diazinon. Two years later, theMoAg expanded the restriction on chlorpyriphos and diazinon to prohibit use in public and private gardens, parks, and in certain veterinary applications. Substances in Contact with the Human Body Only one percent of pesticide formulations registered in Israel are for medical purposes (for example, lice treatment). The Pharmacy Department at the MoH is responsible for overseeing chemical preparations for the control of pests harmful to human beings. Their authority is based on an ordinance from 1962. - 39 - Pesticides

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