Civil society network opposes delay to ban on toxic farm substances
Members of the civil society network opposed to hazardous farm chemicals submitted a letter to Thailand’s Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit today, protesting against a move by the Thai Chamber of Commerce to have the National Hazardous Substances Committee (NHSC) postpone the ban on two hazardous farm substances until the end of the year.
Ms. Prokchon Usap, the coordinator of the network, told Thai PBS today that she found the rationale for delaying the June 1st ban on chlorpyrifos and paraquat, provided by Mr. Klin Sarasin, president of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, totally unacceptable.
She claimed that the European Union banned chlorpyrifos in February, while Vietnam banned it early last year and has prohibited the use of paraquat since 2018.
The network objects to the NHSC’s decision to issue new licenses for the production of the chemicals, and to extend the permit to store and possess the substances, saying that it will increase the amount of the chemicals in the country, instead of phasing them out.
In October 2019, the NHSC decided to ban paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos in Thailand. A month later, however, a new committee, headed by Mr. Suriya, backtracked and delayed the ban on paraquat and chlorpyrifos for six months, while permitting the controlled use of glyphosate within current residue limits.