Top court rejects petition to revoke chemicals ban

Top court rejects petition to revoke chemicals ban

The Supreme Administrative Court yesterday upheld a lower court decision to dismiss a petition asking it to revoke a ban on three toxic farm chemicals on the grounds that the ban has yet to take effect.

The petition was lodged by the Asa Rak Mae Klong Group, a network of fruit growers in Chanthaburi, Ratchaburi, Samut Songkhram, Rayong, Suphan Buri and Nakhon Ratchasima.

The group wanted a decision by the National Hazardous Substances Committee (NHSC) to ban paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos nullified. The group filed its petition after the NHSC banned the three chemicals last October.

In throwing out the petition, the Supreme Administrative Court said the ban had yet to take effect and the decision had not caused damage to anyone. The 1,091-strong group, therefore, was not eligible to file a petition.

According to the court, paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos are still classified as Type 3 toxins. Paraquat and glyphosate are herbicides -- chlorpyrifos is a pesticide.

Last November, the Central Administrative Court threw out the group's petition, saying the Department of Agriculture was first required to draft a ministerial regulation on the proposed ban, put it up for public feedback, and submit it to the NHSC for approval.

The court said the NHSC's resolution to ban the toxins on Oct 22 was considered the start of the prohibition process.

The NHSC last month confirmed its Nov 27 decision to lift the ban on glyphosate and postpone the ban on chlorpyrifos and paraquat until June 1.

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