Tag Archives: ban

Thailand to Ban Glyphosate and Other High-Profile Pesticides

Sustainable Pulse – Oct 23, 2019

Thailand edged closer Tuesday to banning glyphosate and two other controversial pesticides despite protests from farmers in a multi-billion-dollar agriculture industry aiming to be the “kitchen of the world”.

Source: AFP

Agriculture employs 40 percent of Thailand’s population and the Southeast Asian country is one of the world’s leading rice and sugar exporters.

It is also one of the biggest consumers of pesticides being banned or phased out in other parts of the globe because of links to a variety of illnesses.

Thailand’s National Hazardous Substances Committee voted to ban glyphosate and chemicals paraquat and chlorpyrifos, officials said.

“The ban will be effective on December 1,” committee chair Panuwat Triangjulsri, of the Ministry of Industry, told reporters.

Paraquat, a herbicide which the US Centers for Disease Control calls “highly poisonous”, has been banned in Europe since 2007.

Studies have linked the pesticide chlorpyrifos to developmental delays in children, while critics say the weedkiller glyphosate is a likely cause of cancer.

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Farming organisations and the chemical industry have lobbied for the continued use of glyphosate, sold under the trade name Roundup made by Bayer subsidiary Monsanto.

In the US there are more than 18,000 lawsuits with plaintiffs claiming glyphosate caused different kinds of cancer even though it is widely used in agriculture there.

The company has suffered several defeats in court that it plans to appeal against.

Austria became the first European Union member to forbid all glyphosate use in July, with restrictions also in force in the Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands. France is phasing it out by 2023.

19 countries globally now ban glyphosate – find out who they are here

Vietnam banned all herbicides containing glyphosate soon after the Roundup cases in the US, but the decision was swiftly denounced by the US Secretary of Agriculture, who said it would impact global agricultural production.

Thailand’s health minister, who has argued the pesticides put lives at risk, praised Tuesday’s move as “heroic” on his Facebook page even as several dozen farmers protested — citing a rise in production costs.

“If we don’t have the chemicals to eradicate the weeds, we will have to use more labourers,” said Charat Narunchron of a farmers association in Chanthaburi province, who called the ban “unfair”.

Thailand’s Pesticide Alert Network — which has long advocated for the ban — thanked the government but said it needs to help farmers adjust to other methods.

SOURCE

Vietnam acts to ban cancer causing herbicides

VN Express International – By Phan Anh   March 26, 2019 

Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer atomizers are displayed for sale at a garden shop near Brussels, Belgium, November 27, 2017. Photo by Reuters/Yves Herman

Vietnam has issued a ban on fresh imports of glyphosate-containing herbicides after a U.S. court ruled they are carcinogenic.

A U.S. court ruled last Tuesday that Roundup, a weed killer produced and sold by controversial American agrochemical giant Monsanto, causes cancer.

Vietnam’s Plant Protection Department has asked businesses to stop signing new import contracts for glyphosate-based herbicides.

Products already in circulation are not affected by this decision, however.

“As soon as we heard the second U.S. trial’s verdict that glyphosate is related to cancer, we have issued a document to ban new herbicide imports containing the active ingredient. The removal of this substance from the list of usable herbicides in Vietnam will also be issued in the near future,” a Tuoi Tre report quoted Hoang Trung, head of the Plant Protection Department, as saying.

The department also asked businesses, organizations and individuals to report back on the production, sales and storage of glyphosate-based herbicides.

Last Tuesday, the San Francisco federal court ruled that Roundup, a glyphosate-based weed killer produced by Monsanto, could cause cancer.

The finding was a unanimous jury decision, Reuters reported.

German pharmaceutical firm Bayer, which acquired Monsanto for $63 billion last year, has denied that glyphosate or Roundup causes cancer, and said that it was disappointed with the jury’s decision.

A study by researchers from the University of Washington last month said glyphosate raised the cancer risk of those exposed to it by 41 percent, CNN reported.

Specifically, the chemical increases the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.

“All of the meta-analyses conducted to date, including our own, consistently report the same key finding: exposure to GBHs (glyphosate-based herbicides) are associated with an increased risk of NHL,” wrote the study’s authors in a paper published by journal Mutation Research.

Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used weed killer. Monsanto’s Roundup was the first glyphosate-based weed killer but is no longer patent-protected and many other versions are now available.

In Vietnam, glyphosate-based herbicides are also widely used, said Trung. The country uses about 30,000 tons of the chemical every year, in which 60 percent are from herbicides, local media reported. It is not clear what the remaining 40 percent of the chemical is used for.

This is not the first time Monsanto’s been accused of making products with adverse effects on human health. Vietnam has repeatedly asked that Monsanto and other U.S. firms compensate Vietnamese victims affected by Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant containing the gene-altering dioxin, during the Vietnam War.

Monsanto has also been in the news for spending millions of dollars to stop a regulation that would require mandatory labeling of products containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Monsanto has also been ordered by the U.S. courts several times to pay compensation to American plaintiffs who have suffered health issues from exposure to the company’s products.

A California man was awarded $289 million in August after a U.S. court jury found Roundup caused his cancer. That award was later reduced to $78 million and is on appealAFP reported.

New Analysis: Curbing Pesticides Key to Reversing Insect Apocalypse

Global Research Feb 1, 2019 – By Center For Biological Diversity 

More Than 40 Percent of World’s Insect Species on Fast-track to Extinction

Authors of a major new scientific review of the catastrophic decline of insects say a “serious reduction in pesticide usage” is key to preventing the extinction of up to 41 percent of the world’s insects within the “next few” decades.

The review, published online this week in Biological Conservation, highlights that reversing the insect declines will require an “urgent” push to replace the ever-escalating use of harmful synthetic pesticides and fertilizers with more ecologically based, sustainable farming practices.

“This analysis is an alarming wake-up call that we need to dramatically reduce pesticide use,” said Tara Cornelisse, an entomologist and senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Dumping more and more insecticides on our food crops is like fixing a noise under the hood by yanking out the car’s engine. Insects are the foundation of every healthy ecosystem, so we need to quit poisoning landscapes with millions of pounds of toxic pesticides every year.”

Among the authors’ most sweeping conclusions is that

“A rethinking of current agricultural practices, in particular a serious reduction in pesticide usage and its substitution with more sustainable, ecologically-based practices, is urgently needed to slow or reverse current trends, allow the recovery of declining insect populations and safeguard the vital ecosystem services they provide.”

The meta-analysis of 73 studies assessing insect declines over a period of at least 10 years found that industrial farming practices driving habitat loss and extensive use of pesticides and fertilizers is associated with 47 percent of reported declines.

The authors found clear evidence for decline in all insect groups reviewed, but especially for butterflies and moths, native bees, beetles, and aquatic insects like dragonflies. It is estimated that half of butterflies, moths and beetles are declining at about 2 percent per year, and one in six bee species has disappeared in many regions.

A growing body of research indicates that insects are declining about twice as fast as vertebrates.

Earlier studies of insect loss showed declines of insect specialists — those that need specific habitat for nesting, or pollinate only one type of flower. But more and more studies are now documenting large-scale insect loss that includes generalist species, like the endangered rusty patched bumble bee, that were once common throughout their range.

The decline of widely ranging generalist insect species shows that habitat loss, alone, is not enough to explain insect declines. Mounting evidence now demonstrates that a significant driver is the widespread use of pesticides and fertilizers.

“We know neonicotinoid pesticides are a major cause of bee decline and are working to ban them, but this review highlights the urgent need for sweeping pesticide reform,” Cornelisse said. “That reform must start with the EPA replacing its long, troubling embrace of pesticide makers with a truly independent review process for assessing these dangerous poisons.”

SOURCE

How France and Germany Are Ousting Glyphosate In A Search For Healthy Soils and Pesticide-Free Crops

Independent Science NEWS – by Ramon Seidler – DEC 6, 2018

The Macron Government of France is offering its farmers a way out of glyphosate dependency within the next 3 years.

Millions have been following European discussions on the possible ban (or a new licensing period) for glyphosate-based herbicides; discussions which stemmed from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declaring glyphosate a probable human carcinogen in March, 2015.

European countries finally voted, in November, 2017 to allow glyphosate to be used another 5 years on farms. Although not the time period desired by many, this was less than the time wanted by industry, some countries, and some European agencies.

Germany, after initially abstaining, in a surprise, politically-motivated, change-of-heart, voted to back the European Commission’s proposal to extend the use of the weed-killer for 5 years. The surprise came when then Agricultural Minister Christian Schmidt took it upon himself to cast Germany’s deciding yes vote supporting 5 more years of glyphosate. Neither Chancellor Merkel nor Environmental Minister Barbara Hendricks had been notified of his intent. After the vote, French President Macron said he would take all necessary measures to ban the product, as soon as an alternative was available, and at the latest within three years.

The French and Germany solution to getting rid of Glyphosate. Read on…

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