Kenya’s Lions Poisoned?

CBS’ 60 Minutes just aired a segment on the use of an American pesticide, Furadan, marketed by FMC since 1967 as a “broad-spectrum insecticide-nematicide,” for a new purpose: killing African Lions–vital to the tourism industry of Kenya and other African countries as it is the icon of African wildlife.  The reason is the same as the cause for the wolf population of the American west’s decline: they are predators that conflict with human ranching / agricultural production.

The highlight of the piece is a statement from FMC, which apparently blocked export of the insecticide to Kenya last year, that the product is “…important to the sustainability of agriculture in Kenya.”  Seems like a mixed message to stress its necessity and then block its sale (for a while).

That said, it’s not really FMC’s fault that its product is being abused.  But, that doesn’t mean that the company should not do more.  Because of the grave risk, the FMC should bar all sale of Furadan to all African countries.  The real problem is a sad economic situation combined with a readily-available, inexpensive, and potent solution: a cheap poison.

Note that the video is, at times, hard to watch for those who truly admire and respect wildlife.

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