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Private sector protests start of chlorpyrifos, paraquat ban

Jun 02. 2020
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By The Nation

The Thai Chamber of Commerce will present its study on the economic cost of banning chlorpyrifos and paraquat to the prime minister, in a bid to have the ban suspended for a year.

Chamber chairman Kalin Sarasin said a letter explaining the effects of Industry Ministry’s ban, which went into effect today (June 1) will be sent to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The private sector will propose a compromise of limiting imports of the agricultural chemicals, which it says are still necessary, with the limit to be decided by the Public Health Ministry.

Agricultural businesses have requested a year to adjust to the ban, which they warn will affect production and costs, leading to higher product prices.

The Chamber will present the study, detailing the problems and outcomes of the ban, within a few weeks.

Meanwhile, farmers must return their stocks of chlorpyrifos and paraquat to shops within 90 days to avoid fines of up to Bt1 million or imprisonment for up to 10 years, warned Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Mananya Thaiset.

She said the Department of Agriculture will be responsible for collecting the surplus stock.

Certificates allowing possession of the substances became invalid as soon as the ban was imposed.

Meanwhile retail shops must return the chemicals to the importers or manufacturers within 120 days.

Importers and manufacturers must then report the quantity returned to the Agricultural Regulation Office within 270 days.

Disposal of Thailand’s surplus chlorpyrifos and paraquat will be strictly monitored, with fines up to Bt1 million and/or imprisonment of up to 10 years for violators.

The department has sent guidelines on the ban to relevant organisations around the country and collaborated with every province to underline their importance.

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