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BANGKOK 21 March 2019 18:41

Dangerous farm chemicals still allowed for at least two years

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Dangerous farm chemicals still allowed for at least two years





PARAQUAT, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos are still allowed for use in Thailand for at least another two years, after the Hazardous Substance Committee yesterday reaffirmed its previous decision not to ban the three controversial agrochemicals.




Their decision came despite the insistence of the Public Health Ministry, Office of the Ombudsman, National Human Rights Commission and many other organisations that the Hazardous Substance Committee ban the three severely toxic substances before the end of this year.


Following its meeting yesterday at the Industry Ministry, the committee chose to defy resolutions from the other bodies and instead affirmed its previous decision favouring the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry’s proposal to limit use of the chemicals. A total ban on the herbicides and pesticide will again be considered during the next two years.


Industry Ministry Deputy Permanent Secretary Apichin Jotikashira, who chaired yesterday’s Hazardous Substance Committee meeting, said afterwards that the committee acknowledged the dangers to the environment and public health from the use of paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos, and agreed that Thailand should eventually ban all of them.




Yasothon’s Nikom Kwanhom shows the scar left by a flesh-eating disease that he had contracted from exposure to water contaminated with paraquat. 


However, Apichin said that the majority of Thai farmer were still heavily reliant on these chemicals to control weeds and pests and it was necessary for the committee to consider the possible impacts on these farmers if they decided to institute the ban, he said.


“The representative from the Agriculture Department told the meeting that right now we lack any equally efficient substitutes to these farm chemicals,” he said.


“So, the committee decided to continue to allow the use of these chemicals for two more years, while the Agriculture Department develops alternative as substitutes, so as to prevent negative impacts on many farmers.” 


However, he insisted that from now on the use of these particular chemicals would be limited by five new regulations from the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry. These will permit using the two herbicides and the pesticide only for rubber, maize, sugar cane, cassava and fruit trees.


“We do not mean to defy the resolutions of the Ombudsman and other agencies, and have a reasonable justification to explain to these agencies why we decided not to ban these substances within this year,” Apichin said.


“We also confirm our intention to eventually phase out the use of these chemicals, as the Hazardous Substance Committee is scheduled to consider the ban again in the next two years.”


Prior to the committee meeting to decide the future of the three effective but extremely harmful farm chemicals, those who support and oppose their use submitted petitions at the Industry Ministry.


Opposition was led by Thailand Pesticide Alert Network, the Foundation for Consumers and a group of people who had been harmed by paraquat. They urged that the Hazardous Substance Committee grant their demands for a total ban on paraquat and the other two chemicals by the end of this year. They also demanded that committee members with a potential conflict of interest excuse themselves from the decision and that the meeting and its vote be transparent and publicly traceable.


Nikom Kwanhom, a Yasothon patient with necrotising fasciitis (“flesh-eating disease”) said his disabled left leg was clear evidence of the danger posed by paraquat and other farm chemicals to people’s health and the environment, and he wanted the committee to ban them.


“I have personally suffered the hazardous impacts of these agrochemicals,” Nikom said. “Even though the doctors could save my leg, it is permanently unusable, just because I accidentally trampled into a pond contaminated with a high concentration of paraquat from a nearby sugar cane plantation.”


Exposure to paraquat had worsened a previous leg wound and triggered an infection by flesh-eating bacteria that left him disabled, he said, adding that he had suffered tremendous consequences to his well-being and his family’s livelihood – as he is no longer able to work in the fields, his family’s income had been greatly reduced.


“I do not want any other people to face a similar fate to mine, so please ban these harmful chemical now,” he urged.




- April 5, 2017: Public Health Ministry calls for ban on paraquat (dipyridylium) and chlorpyrifos by 2019.


- November 19, 2017: Hazardous Substance Committee approves the renewal of paraquat importing licences.


- January 30, 2018: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha orders Public Health, Agriculture and Cooperatives, and Commerce ministries to resolve on the proposed ban of hazardous agrochemicals. 


- May 23, 2018: Hazardous Substance Committee decides not to ban paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos and instead orders usage restrictions.


- November 23, 2018: Ombudsman Office affirms its resolution to ban all three hazardous herbicides and pesticides within a year.


- January 15: Hazardous Substance Committee agrees to reconsider its decision to not ban the three agrochemicals.


- February 14: Hazardous Substance Committee reaffirmed its previous decision to not ban paraquat, glyphosate, and chlorpyrifos, with 16 votes for this decision, five against it and five abstentions. 


Sources: BioThai Foundation and The Nation


Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30364159



-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-02-15
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Two years and think again.  That gives the suppliers of the products enough time to clear most of their stocks by encouraging the poor farmers to stockpile in the belief that it is the best stuff to use but will be banned.  Buy now while it's still available!!!

After two years the suppliers can then say they are fully committed to the protection of the environment and want to ban these horrible chemicals.

Win-win situation - make as much money as possible and then claim to be a guardian of the planet.  Job done for vested interests!

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You just have to hit wholesalers and grocery store where it hurts, those rights groups should test veggies and post the results of which veggies still have these chemicals. This will result in decline sales and force farm good sellers to adapt or loose money. I mean they already do it, but are not making a big enough deal for consumers to avoid certain brands.


At the same time, I know they can't post which brand the veggies are from without being sue for defamation. But there are ways around it.


The fact is that there are government organizations helping farmers planting crops without using these chemicals, so perhaps they should do a better job at it.

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8 hours ago, webfact said:

Dangerous farm chemicals still allowed for at least two years

C'mon, is anyone really surprised at this delay tactic, defying the warnings of the experts, purely for financial gain?  After all... T.I.T.


Hmmm... I wonder what part Fearless Leader P played in this deadly decision.

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It's all about money>High placed , rich people take the money and the rest just die.

Glyphosate was also banned in Europe, but its back again !!

After 2000 the world changed for worse in everything. It's power (it has been always but now more) to big companies and their shit

, all protected by governments, which are corrupt. After all we do have almost 9 billion people, so who cares about someone.

It's all me, me, me. grab, grab, grab. SOme balance we had, flipped. The old anti social is now social.

MEdicines, we had one here, costed 0,30 cents/pill, it was raised up to 400 euro/pil !! And it happens with lots of medicines.

ALso in China they make a medicine, we had here, and it turns out now it is contaminated with other substances, which causes other diseases. BUt he medicine is the only one made in China they say ??!! So you have to accept that medicine with the shit.

I once red in USA , the price of insulin rises and rises, so probably all over the world. But again there it is money, they dont care about YOU. I wonder why we let this all happen, we are asleep and think other people will take care of you, but NO. Those people take care of their wallet and fill it richly, from your money and you just die.

You have seen those movies about ships to be demolished? THey go to India, Pakistan, Iran, They wreck them on the beaches and then are cut to pieces, still containing oil, fuel and other shit (chemical tankers). The people who work there just on BARE feet end what ever cloths they have. Being in direct contact with whatever is on that ship. THey get paid almost nothing, but the rich guy who takes care for that wrecking, gets most of it. ANd if you die on the job or in longer term, he doesnt care.

You see a young boy in Africa, 8 years old doing hard labour 12 hours/day for just a dime/day !!

And so on and so on, so much shit in this world.

WIshed i was born as an albatros, flying around, making 1 bird/year. Way much less shit. Way much better.

Probably now im older, i feel ashamed as a human, due to much info available , i guess. 

I think a 3rd world war , to  reset is necessary, we do need war every time again to reset.  

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And they say they are about the people, and they call them brothers and sisters-pretty sad, pretty sick

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All these "hazardous" chemicals are widely used worldwide incl. USA. Though I am not happy about any chemie in contact with my food I am not so afraid of these chemicals but more of the ones never mentioned and used illegally as well as those comming to my body by poluted air caused of illegal burning of garbage.

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So eating fruits and vegetables in Thailand isn’t actually that healthy because of these dangerous chemicals? Dam I’ll never enjoy Thai food the same again. 



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