Committee warned over paraquat ban

Committee warned over paraquat ban

Consumer rights advocates march to the government’s complaint centre to lodge a petition with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, urging him to order the Department of Agriculture to ban paraquat and chlorpyrifos, in Bangkok in 2017. (Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)

Published caption 28/09/2017
Consumer rights advocates march to the government’s complaint centre to lodge a petition with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, urging him to order the Department of Agriculture to ban paraquat and chlorpyrifos, in Bangkok in 2017. (Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd) Published caption 28/09/2017

The Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday warned a committee tasked with the control of hazardous chemical substances to take action over its proposed ban on paraquat or it would be held responsible for negligence of duty.

Raksagecha Chaechai, secretary-general of the Office of the Ombudsman, said the warning came during a meeting with representatives from the Hazardous Substance Committee and concerned agencies following a lack of progress in implementing the ban.

He said the meeting was called to find out why the committee and those involved failed to come up measures that would lead to the complete ban on paraquat after the Ombudsman made the suggestion in December of last year that the substance should be prohibited from Jan 1 next year.

Health officials and consumer rights advocates have decried that paraquat not only harms farmers but that its residue also harms newborn babies. The toxic herbicide has already been banned in 53 countries.

He said the panel's representatives cited an economic reason for the continued use of paraquat, a lack of alternatives, and the popularity of paraquat among farmers. Paraquat is believed to be an effective and cheap weed killer.

Moreover, the committee also believes that they can promote safe use of the substance, he said.

However, Mr Raksagecha said the Ombudsman was standing firm on its proposed ban and strongly urged the committee to review the matter within 60 days and take appropriate action.

The Ombudsman has given authorities 60 days to review the matter with a goal for the total ban of paraquat by Jan 1, 2020. The Ombudsman is open to reason but if it is insufficient, it will forward the issue for consideration.

"The Ombudsman chairman has told the meeting that the office will have no choice but to ask the NACC to investigate the committee for negligence of duty if no actions are taken," he said.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (7)

7,139 new Covid cases, 13 more deaths

The country registered 13 more Covid-19 fatalities and 7,139 new cases during the previous 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry announced on Monday morning.

07:46

Taking retail to the next level

During the pandemic the past couple of years, retailers, brands and manufacturers have adapted to changing consumer behaviour.

06:30

FTI club launches EV component plan

The Federation of Thai Industries' (FTI) auto parts club is working to help 2,500 auto parts manufacturers accustomed to producing parts for internal combustion engines (ICE) to shift towards electric vehicle (EV) technology by launching an EV component development plan.

06:22