Illegal pesticides on sale at Rīga Central Market

Although penalties for the distribution or use of illegal plant protection products may reach up to 350 euros for individuals and 700 euro for legal entities, unauthorized weed or pest chemicals can easily be obtained at the Rīga Central Market.

A total of 45 unregistered pesticide marketing inspections were conducted last year by officials, 15 of which detected violations.

“By far the most popular thing we come across here are unregistered plant products from Russia and Ukraine,” the inspector of the State Plant Protection Service Zigmārs Bulavs revealed to Latvian Radio during a recent undercover inspection at the Rīga Central Market.

Plant protection products are a variety of stronger and weaker chemicals used to fight weeds, fungi, or pests.

The State Plant Protection Service workers remark that when buying pesticides, it is impossible to determine not only how effective they are, but how harmful they may be to human health and the environment, which is why it is hazardous to acquire and use them. In order to prevent these unregistered chemicals from harming the environment, the public demand for them has to decrease. 

“There are chemicals for various plant diseases and pests which any school-child can acquire without a special licence. Of course, the choice is more limited, but one can find marketed and safe chemicals,” Bulavs said.

A list of registered pesticides can be found on the website of the State Plant Protection Service.

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