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Letter of the Day | More needs to be done to preserve Jamaica’s human resources

Published:Saturday | March 30, 2019 | 12:00 AM


In light of the recent, bold strides that our Government has taken in banning plastics in a bid to preserve our “physical” Jamaica, how long should we tarry before such stringent actions are taken to preserve our people? An effort to protect and preserve our island by limiting our own destructive input is very good, and even though, ideally, the execution or implementation of such could’ve been more seamless, it should be commended.

Regardless of congratulatory remarks, I pose this question, is the value of our land more than that of our people? I can assume that the general consensus is no. Why does it feel as if strong-willed legislation is implemented only to save the “wood and water” and not the “out of many, one”?

I must say that initiatives have been undertaken as seen in the lowering of sugary products in schools and the drive to have Jamaica move. These are good but still fall short and are nowhere as invasive and effective as a strong ban on plastic. Do our legislators fear offending persons?

A batch of locally produced yam is not accepted for export if tests don’t verify that it has negligible chemical content. Are there effective measures in place to ensure that the local consumers are protected from produce high in chemical content? Or are we, most times, condemned to accepting the “watt-leff” while our best is exported?

Much of what we consume is by personal choice, and we as consumers have a major role to play.

Cause for concern

Even with this being so, it is concerning that fruits are allowed to enter our shores practically “embalmed” and up to even a year old. Fringe meats imported are sometimes older than our youngest children, and snacks are laced with concerning levels of MSG and other additives with more numbers than letters in their names. Just how stringent are our borders where quality control is concerned?

It will be argued that every man is in charge of his or her individual health and consumption. Lest we forget, we were also tasked with being in charge of our own personal surroundings where it concerned littering, yet major steps were taken to curb what was initially our responsibility.

So, yes, we are each individually responsible for the health of our bodies and those in our custody, but the same strong-willed actions can be taken by our legislators to help us where we fall short. After all, aren’t the progression and best interests of the people our leaders’ priority?