11 July 2024

BioThai Foundation director Vithoon Lienchamroon has voice his objection to a reported attempt by the National Hazardous Substances Committee (NHSC) to review the ban on the glyphosate herbicide.

Responding to a report that Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit, in his capacity as chair of the NHSC, plans to ask the committee to reconsider the ban scheduled to come into force on December 1st, he said that reviewing the ban is beyond the authority of the committee.

After the NHSC decided to ban the import, trade, use and possession of three farm chemicals last month, Vithoon said that it is now the responsibility of the Public Health and Agriculture and Commerce ministries to draft a ministerial announcement to set the permissible maximum residue limits (MRL) of the chemicals in imported food and farm products.

In order to set the MRL limits, he said the authorities concerned would have to take into consideration the WTO’s MRL as reference to avoid problems later on.

The BioThai Foundation director continued, saying that Thailand is obliged to send a letter of notification to the WTO, in accordance with the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, about its decision to ban the chemicals.

Vithoon dismissed a claim, by supporters of the use of glyphosate, that the hazardous substance is not carcinogenic in an attempt to force the Thai government to review its ban.

He cited three court rulings in the US which forced the manufacturer of Roundup, a trade name for glyphosate, to pay huge compensation to cancer victims who were over-exposure to the substance.