Farming body unhappy with ban on paraquat, chlorpyrifos

A farming federation has expressed its frustration with the government’s decision to ban the use of chemicals paraquat and chlorpyrifos before having alternatives. 

Last year’s ban decision was reaffirmed by the National Hazardous Substances Committee at its April 30 meeting, effective June 1. 

Safe Farming Confederation Sukan Sangwanna secretary-general said there was currently no alternative to paraquat in terms of effectiveness and worthiness. 

The price guarantee and increased budget measures that were announced by Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit are not a long-term solution because they only allow farmers to take national budgets to buy more chemical substances and the chemical companies are the ones that get benefits, he said. 

In addition, he said, the Public Health Ministry has adjusted a residual substance law in order to import more soybeans and it benefits only a small group of soybean importers. 

Residual substance index adjustment is increased so that the US and Brazil can deliver soybeans and the importers will not face any problem. 

This shows that the ministry and NGOs are lying about their concern for the health of Thai people because if they really did, they would ban glyphosate too. They have not seen the negative effects on the agricultural and export industries, Sukan warned. 

Even though the Agriculture Ministry said farmers did not collaborate on the chemical substance ban, Sukan emphasised that more than 500,000 households followed pesticide instructions from the Department of Agriculture but the project was ended after a few months since its debut on October 20 because the Agriculture Ministry saw it as a failure.