Press Release
February 19, 2015

Pimentel warns use of toxins to stop cocolisap

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today cautioned the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) against advocating the use of a banned toxin to arrest a coconut infestation known as "cocolisap".

Pimentel issued the warning as Starkle, a super-toxin banned abroad, is being reportedly advocated again by a local syndicate to justify a P170 million anti-cocolisap project.

He said scientific evidence should be presented to back up the claims of the Starkle lobby that it is effective and safe for use to arrest the cocolisap infestation in the country.

The entry of Starkle was stopped last year due to widespread protests by coconut farmers who feared that the controversial toxin would endanger their livelihood instead of taming the pest.

Of the 54 hot spots or highly infested areas, the pilot use of Starkle proved to be a dud as the infestation was actually effectively neutralized by a non-toxic and cheaper organic solution.

Pimentel said marginal farmers face the grim prospects of losing their livelihood because foreign coconut buyers are very critical against the use of banned chemicals in the product.

He said he favored the use of the non-toxic, organic solution to protect the multi-million pesos coconut industry that provides livelihood to thousands of rural workers, especially in Mindanao.

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