Working group agrees to ban toxic farm chemicals

Working group agrees to ban toxic farm chemicals

Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Mananya Thaiset tells the press about the decision of the working group to ban three toxic farming chemicals after a  meeting at the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry on Monday. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)
Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Mananya Thaiset tells the press about the decision of the working group to ban three toxic farming chemicals after a meeting at the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry on Monday. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)

Representatives of the government, farmers and consumers have unanimously voted to ban the use of three toxic farming chemicals in December in a decision that could end the months-long controversial issue.

Deputy Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives Minister Mananya Thaiset said on Monday the working group comprising the three groups voted 9-0 in favour of the ban on three chemicals — paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos — starting Dec 1 at a meeting at the ministry.

From that date, it will be illegal to have, sell, import or produce the substances.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had ordered the setup of the working group with members from the government and the private sector, as well as farmers and consumers, to hear opinions on the future of the three chemicals. However, representatives from the farm chemical businesses did not attend the meeting.

The landmark decision will be forwarded to Gen Prayut for approval and then sent to the National Hazardous Substances Committee to formalise the end of the three toxic farming chemicals. The committee will meet on Oct 27.

Ms Mananya foresaw no hurdles although the committee, which is ultimately responsible for the issue, has failed to impose the ban before.

The unanimous decision followed the Democrat Party's declaration of support despite Agriculture Minister Chalermchai Sri-on's reluctance earlier.

Mr Chalermchai, who is secretary-general of the Democrat Party, said he supported the ban and deputy party leader Prinn Panitchpakdi confirmed the party's stance of wanting to see them banned on the same day that the working group held the meeting.



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