July 26, 2009 FMC Response to 60 Minutes Rebroadcast of Story on Kenyan Lion Poisonings
On Sunday, July 26, CBS News 60 Minutes rebroadcasted a story on the human-wildlife conflict in Kenya that reports Furadan®, an FMC insecticide, has become the preferred product that many cattle herders use to poison lions that kill their livestock. As we stated when the story first aired in March, FMC strongly condemns the misuse of its products that are clearly intended to be used for crop protection. We are very concerned about allegations that the product has been used illegally to kill wildlife. The company has taken several actions to address the situation including:
· Stopped all sales of Furadan to Kenya immediately after learning of an incident in May 2008.
· Initiated a Furadan buy-back program in Kenya in March 2009 to remove any remaining product from the market. Our distributor and conservation groups, such as the Maasailand Preservation Trust, report that Furadan is no longer stocked in Agrovet stores.
· FMC’s distributor discontinued Furadan sales into Tanzania and Uganda in April 2009.
· FMC has offered to subsidize Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) lab analysis of samples of animals suspected to have been poisoned with Furadan. The KEPHIS lab uses a more expensive but substantially more sensitive analytical test than other Kenyan labs.
· FMC has requested all information about suspected wildlife poisonings from the Kenyan Wildlife Service under their official procedures.
· We expanded our contact with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Africa to improve reporting of suspected poisonings.
In April, FMC sent a second team to Kenya (first team was sent in March 2008) to get a more comprehensive understanding of intentional misuse of chemicals in the longstanding human-wildlife conflict. The team met with several NGOs as well as government officials from both the Pest Control Products Board (PCPB) and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). The NGOs made a firm commitment to report all suspected cases of lion poisonings involving Furadan directly to the government and to FMC. To help encourage accurate reporting, we sent the NGOs specific information on what to look for if witnessing a poisoning event or if poisoned animals are found as well as our offer to subsidize lab analyses through KEPHIS. We continue to strongly encourage NGOs to include substantiated evidence to support their reports to government and FMC on suspected Furadan intoxications.
FMC is a global company dedicated to delivering innovative products that improve the lives of people around the world. We take tremendous pride, not only in our products, but in our stewardship programs. We will continue to work with the Kenyan government, agricultural industry and conservation groups to try to prevent the misuse of Furadan and any other pesticides used to kill wildlife.
For further information about FMC products and stewardship initiatives, please visit www.furadanfacts.com.