EARTH Thailand

Environmental groups call for ban on toxic pesticides

The Nation 19 September 2017   

Environmental groups staged a nationwide protest against the use of toxic pesticides and herbicides for the sake of consumer safety.

More than 200 protesters from various environmental groups - including Greenpeace, the National Farmers Council, the National Health Assembly, and the Resources and Environment Network - gathered at Government House on Tuesday to hand over a petition to the government.

They have called for a ban on paraquat and chlorpyrifos and a reduction in the use of glyphosate.

The protesters also demonstrated in front of city halls in 50 provinces to show solidarity in the campaign to reduce the use of toxins in the agricultural sector.

Protest representative Pavinee Watthusinthu said the groups want the government and related agencies to enforce four recommendations tabled by a committee charged with solving the problem of using highly toxic pesticides in agriculture.

The committee recommended the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry ban paraquat and chlorpyrifos, the Agriculture Department reduce the import of these dangerous substances, the Industry Ministry support the ban on these pesticides and related agencies enforce the recommendations as local authorities limit the use of the three chemicals.

Greenpeace South East Asia coordinator Watcharapon Dangsupa said 48 countries, including the producers of the three chemicals such as the United Kingdom, Switzerland and China, have banned the products being used in their countries.

Watcharapon urged the government to prioritise people’s health and wellbeing over companies making profits.

A lawyer from the Office of the Permanent Secretary for the Prime Minister’s Office, Sathit Suthiserm, received the petition.