11 July 2024

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and Deputy Agriculture Minister Mananya Thaiseth have played down the apparent U-turn over the December 1st enforcement of the ban on paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos by insisting that the ban remains intact.

Both claimed today that the new National Hazardous Substances Committee (NHSC), chaired by Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongkit, did not make any new ruling regarding the ban.

Anutin told the media today (Wednesday) that two representatives of the Ministry of Public Health, who sit on the NHSC, insisted that their support for the ban remains unchanged.

He said, however, that he will wait for an official announcement from Mr. Suriya of what decisions the committee did, or did not take, adding there is no political conflict between his Bhumjaithai party and  other parties in the Government, and denied that the talk of a U-turn on the ban is a slap in the face.

Mr. Suriya told the media, after the NHSC met today, that it was decided to delay the ban on paraquat and chlorpyrifos for six months, while allowing controlled use of herbicide glyphosate for an indefinite period of time.

Ms. Mananya, meanwhile, claimed NHSC had not made any new ruling on the matter.

Regarding the Agriculture Department, which bypassed her by submitting its delay proposal directly to the NHSC, the deputy agriculture minister said she would prefer to oversee the Royal Irrigation Department, because she said is unable to control the Agriculture Department.

Bhumjaithai MP Chadha Thaiseth, meanwhile, said Industry Minister Suriya will be held accountable for any negative consequences resulting from delaying the ban or continued, albeit controlled use of glyphosate.

He said the party will return oversight of the Agriculture Department to the Agriculture Minister.