Farmers to seek court injunction on proposed ban on three chemicals


A farmers’ body will appeal to the Central Administrative Court on Monday (October 28) to issue an injunction on the ban of toxic agricultural chemicals – paraquat, chlorpyrifos and glyphosate – which was approved by the unanimous vote of Hazardous Substance Committee on Tuesday.

Sukan Sangwanna, secretary-general of Federation of Safe Agriculture (FSA), said on Saturday that the FSA and representatives of farmers who grow six economic crops including sugarcane, tapioca, oil palm, rubber, corn, and fruits will approach the court seeking a stay.
“There are currently no concrete measures to provide alternative pesticides or weed killing machines to affected farmers by the government, which means farmers have to take care of the weed/pest problems by hiring additional labourers themselves,” he said. “In the end, the ban on the three chemicals will only increase the production costs.”
Sukan said that he will ask for a stay on the ban on the grounds that the voting process of the Hazardous Substance Committee chaired by Deputy Agriculture Minister Mananya Thaiseth did not comply with the prime minister’s order to have the issue discussed by four related parties including the government, importers, farmers and consumers. “There was no presence of importers at the meeting, while representatives of farmers only came from the organic agriculture group and lacked the presence of farmers of economic crops who rely on these three chemicals,” he said. “I hope that the court will consider halting the ban until the issue is thoroughly studied by related parties and suitable supporting measures are ready.”
Sukan added that he will submit a letter to Hazardous Substance Committee to question the possible double standard practice of Thailand still importing fruits and vegetables from countries that allow paraquat and glyphosate, including China, Japan and the US. “If we ban these substances in Thailand, we should stop importing products from these countries too, or else domestic products won’t be able to compete due to increased costs.”
Statistics from Department of Agriculture reveal that currently Thailand still has stocks of these three chemicals of nearly 30,000 tonnes, whereas the cost to safely eliminate them is estimated at Bt3 billion.


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