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Nov. 26 - EU: Carbofuran in Thailand: A Public Health Risk

Posted Date: 
Thursday, November 26, 2009

From Prachatai:

Following the incident surrounding the plant disease “natural disaster” in Kudchum district, Yasothon province, the AAN has compiled further research to raise public awareness about the impacts of carbofuran (Furadan) on the environment and human health. The Alternative Agriculture Network – Esan (AAN) is a network of more than 3,000 small-scale farmers, working to develop sustainable agricultural techniques, support local food systems and community livelihoods. We also monitor agriculture and trade policies at both the domestic and international levels. The continued promotion of chemical fertilizer and pesticide imports is of major concern to our network, given the Thai government’s spoken commitment to supporting small-scale farmers and organic agriculture.

Canada and the EU have banned carbofuran since 2008. The United States Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) recently banned its use, finding that “Exposure to the pesticide carbofuran resulting from existing legal uses is unsafe—unsafe for the general population, and particularly unsafe for infants and children.” Carbofuran commonly causes burns on the skin and eyes of farmers, but there is a range of serious impacts on farmer health. Long-term effects may include permanent damage to both the nervous and reproductive systems.

...It is our understanding that carbofuran is on the government’s “Dangerous Chemicals Watch List.” This dangerous agrochemical should be banned in Thailand and Thailand must work to be a leader in regional food safety. Ending the use of carbofuran will positively address the current public health crisis affecting farmers and ecological systems throughout Thailand.

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