23 May 2024

The Ministry of Education will take the lead in banning the use of paraquat and glyphosate herbicides and chlorpyrifos pesticide in all 47 agricultural and fishery colleges under the ministry’s supervision.

Deputy Education Minister Khunying Kalaya Sophonpanich said today (Thursday) that directors of the 47 colleges and herself had concurred that they should set an example for other institutions, in both the government and private sectors, by rejecting the use of the three toxic chemicals anywhere in food chain.

Since Thailand is one of the six largest food producers in the world, Khunying Kalaya said that the ban on the use of the chemicals, and the increased awareness of the safety of consumers among food producers, will be a boon to the country’s reputation and image.

Besides the 47 agricultural and fishery colleges, the deputy education minister said that the ministry also plans to launch a pilot project for the Green Health School program, under which school lunches will not only be quality food, but also free from toxic chemicals.

The agricultural college in Nakhon Ratchasima has been chosen for the launch of the pilot project.

Consumer groups and civil society groups have stepped up their campaign to pressure the government to ban the import and use of paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos.  They managed to solicit the support of Deputy Agriculture Minister Manunya Thaiseth, who pledged to ban their use by year end.

The Public Health Ministry is also supportive of the ban, but the decision rests with the Toxic Substances Committee and the industry minister.