Thailand bans glyphosate, other pesticides as U.S. pressures country to reconsider
Published: November 26, 2019
Category: Pesticides, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
Thailand’s National Hazardous Substances Committee has approved a ban on three pesticides, effective December 1—glyphosate, paraquat and chlorpyrifos. Forty percent of the country’s population works in agriculture, and Thai farmers are protesting the ban on glyphosate in particular—as weed control is critical to produce the large amounts of rice and sugar exported worldwide.
Thailand consumes huge amounts of pesticides, and The Pesticide Alert Network has long sought a ban due to health dangers. Paraquat, banned in Europe since 2007, has been called “highly poisonous” by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Chlorpyrifos is linked to developmental delays in children, and glyphosate is a probable cause of cancer.
“If we don’t have the chemicals to eradicate the weeds, we will have to use more labourers,” said Charat Narunchron of Chanthaburi province.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has sent a letter to the prime minister and seven cabinet ministers requesting a delay and review on the ban, complaining that it will affect Thai imports of U.S. soybeans and wheat.
Biothai (Biodiversity Sustainable Agriculture Food Sovereignty Action Thailand) says U.S. opposition comes from pressure from Bayer, which wants to continue selling Roundup. When soybeans, corn, and other U.S. foods were found contaminated by glyphosate, the government decided to raise the maximum residue limit for the chemical.
The U.S. could lose $1.6 billion worth of exports to Thailand from the ban.
Sources: Outlook India; Bangkok Post
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