Insect Spraying: Open Letter to Jelsa Council

Published in Highlights

An open letter to Jelsa Council authorities about unacceptable practices related to the Insect Suppression Programme,

This is the English translation of an open letter to Jelsa Council sent by email on August 13th 2022.

Subject: the use of products based on cypermethrin for insect suppression in the Jelsa Council region.

Sadly, the fogging actions against mosquitoes around the Jelsa Municipality still give cause for concern. The collateral damage is enormous and increasingly visible. Residents and tourists are exposed to dangerous pesticides. Safety measures are not followed. Last year a bee-keeper in Zavala lost his bees following one of the fogging actions. No warning was given. This is all damaging to the quality of life on the island and of course it also has a bad effect on tourism.

Last year, in 2021, three products were used for fogging, which were based on pyrethroids: Neo Alfa, Neopitropid Alfa and Cipex 10E. According to the register of permitted biocidal products compiled by the Ministry of Health pri Ministarstvu Zdravstva (Registar biocidnih pripravaka - studeni 2021.) the active ingredient in Neo Alfa is cypermethrin; for Neopitroid alfa it is alfa-cypermethrin, but this is not on the Ministry approved list; neither is Cipex 10E (active ingredient cypermethrin) on the approved list any more.

In the EU Pesticides Database cypermethrin is approved with some strict limitations aimed at safeguarding pollinators: "only uses outside flowering of the crop and when no flowering weeds are present may be authorised". The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) issues permits for biocidal products: their pictograms for cypermethrin highlight clearly that cypermethrin is potentially hazardous for human health and the environment. It is also known to be toxic to cats and dangerous for dogs. There are no authorized cypermethrin products listed in the ECHA database [NOTE: at the time of writing].

ECHA cypermethrin info card

(For details of permits for pesticides, please refer to our article 'Pesticides, Laws and Permits'; for details of possible adverse effects see 'Pesticide Products in Croatia'.)

Eco Hvar has been warning for years that the practices of insect suppression are causing many problems, while there is no proof that they have reduced the presence of mosquitoes - see our articles 'Poisoning Paradise - a Wake-Up Call'. and 'Insects Wanted!'

We ask, as a matter of URGENCY that there should be no more spraying of the environment in our region with such substances. The planned actions for later this month should be cancelled. The Council authorities should pay attention to the insect suppression practices and ensure that the safety measures, including adequate supervision, from the official Plan for the Programme, are put into practice.

(Signed) Vivian Grisogono

President, Eco Hvar

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