Exclusive report by LINDA KHOO HUI LI
BANGKOK, Oct 22 – Thailand today agreed to ban three toxic agricultural chemical from December 1.
The 26-member National Hazardous Substances Committee (NHSC) voted to ban the use of two herbicides - paraquat and glyphosate - and the insecticide, chlorpyrifos.
In an open vote, there were 21: 5 votes in favour of the ban of paraquat, 19:7 for glyphosate and 22:4 for chlorpyrifos.
The decision today is a victory for many health conscious consumers as well as organic farming groups in the kingdom who support the banning of the popular farm chemicals.
However, anti-ban farmer groups who gathered outside the Ministry of Industry here today, voiced their disappointment with the ban, and said they would file a petition at the Administrative Court for a temporary injunction.
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the decision is a victory for the people.
“It has nothing to do with politics. It is a mission for the people’s health and quality life,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Safe Farming Confederation said it would seek 820 billion baht, including 250 billion baht in compensation for farmers’ loss of income and 570 billion baht in export losses from the government following the ban.
Some 50 countries have banned paraquat and imposed limited use of glyphosate and chlorpyrifos.
Thailand imported about 44,501 tonnes of paraquat last year compared to 31,525 tonnes in 2016.