Local June 4, 2012 | 12:17 pm

Crop dusters deny using toxins; rice crops at risk

Santo Domingo.- The national crop dusters grouped in APLICA on Monday denied an alleged recent toxic spraying near a school in Mao, northwestern Valverde province, which sent students and residents into panic.

APLICA president Espaillat Bencosme Oliver said they adhere strictly to Dominican law and regulations as their duties to protect the environment.

The association’s vice president Jose Ramon Peralta denied they crop dusted with the toxic product as some sectors claim, and instead was an application on land.

”It’s not true that the application made last week next to a school of Mao was made by us as some sectors have complained because it was first done on ??land, and second with a toxic product, which don’t use it since we service banana plantations with an organic product.”

He said APLICA is committed to protect tghe environmental and natural resources, and vowed to continue working for that cause, without neglecting its responsibility to plantations.

Espaillat said the crop dusters are supporters of rice and banana crops, by killing off the weeds and pests which attack them.

Bananas yes, rice maybe

Nonetheless a source in the crop dusting sector told DT that while strict rules are complied with on bananas giver their massive exports to Europe, the measures aren’t strongly enforced for rice. “A plane’s tank has to be totally purged to dust with organic products, because even a trace of a toxic chemical can lead to a lawsuit by buyers.”

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