Panel bans three controversial herbicides effective December 1

The four-party working committee, set up at the order of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, agreed unanimously today to ban the production, import, sale and use of paraquat glyphosate and chlorpyrifos as of December 1st as a New Year’s gift for the Thai people.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Mananya Thaiseth, who chairs the ad hoc committee, said today that the panel’s decision will be submitted to the Prime Minister and the National Hazardous Substances Committee (NSHC) for consideration.

The NSHC originally scheduled a meeting on October 27th to consider whether to ban the chemicals or to stick to its earlier decision to just restrict their use.  Ms. Mananya said, however, that the committee might have to bring the meeting forward as her panel has already made its decision.

Regarding the meeting of the NHSC, which was usually held behind closed doors, Ms. Mananya said that she didn’t mind if some committee members choose to cast the votes in secret, the representatives of the Agriculture, Industry and Public Health ministries in the committee will vote openly.

She insisted that the Agriculture Technique Department already has information about alternative chemicals, to replace the three toxic substances, as well as agricultural techniques which do not rely on them.

As for other farm chemicals, which are less toxic by comparison, the deputy agriculture minister said that they will also be banned in due course.

“The committee’s resolution is regarded as a New Year’s gift for the Thai people nation-wide.  So after December 1st, Thai people can eat vegetables which are safe and can breathe clean air,” said Ms. Mananya, as she committed to stand by any officials who might be sued for their support of the complete ban.


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