Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health has proposed to ban the use of paraquat and chlorpyrifos by 2019, and NGOs including Thailand Pesticide Alert Network (Thai-PAN) are calling for the government back the proposal.
Last week, Thai-PAN and alliances said they would demand the government support the Ministry of Public Health’s proposal, according to an article in the Bangkok Post.
According to the article, Suwit Chaikiattiyos, Chief of the Department of Agriculture, said the Thai Ministry of Public Health’s proposed ban 2019 has an unrealistic timeframe.
“Suwit said authorities still lack enough information on the health impacts of using these chemicals, which means a ban on using them by then is not likely,” the article said.
CropLife Asia said that in the wake of Thai-PAN’s “continued efforts to limit farmer access to safe and effective crop protection,” it issued the following statement from Executive Director Dr. Siang Hee Tan:
“Thailand farmers are facing enormous challenges. They’re being asked to grow more food to feed more people with fewer resources and less impact on the environment. That’s a tall order.
“As stakeholders in the food value chain, we have a responsibility to help ensure the farmers in Thailand and the region are empowered and enabled to meet these challenges, produce the crops that feed our region and world, and realize a better life for themselves and their families in the process. That’s not a sole responsibility, it’s a shared one.
“We are deeply disappointed in Thai PAN’s decision to continue favoring fiction over fact, and failing to put Thailand Farmers first.
“Last month, Thailand Farmers from all over the nation spoke clearly, strongly and with one voice to ask for more access to crop protection technology – not less. The 21st century challenges of battling climate change and increased droughts, floods, pests, weeds and disease require 21st century tools; this includes the responsible use of safe, effective and innovative crop protection technology.
“Ultimately, denying Thailand farmers access to safe and effective tools in the toolbox does damage to their competitiveness as well as that of the nation’s economy.
“CropLife Asia is proud of its long-standing partnership and shared commitment with the Government of Thailand to ensure a sustainable, safe and secure national food supply. We certainly hope our Government partners and all stakeholders will recognize the fictional foundation of Thai PAN’s misinformation, consider the science behind the safe and effective crop protection products being reviewed, and put Thailand Farmers first.
“We remain committed to supporting the farmers of Thailand, and look forward to continuing and growing the collective efforts and dialogue among all stakeholders to do just that.”