Friday, April 15, 2011

Permanently ban endosulfan, gov't urged

By Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) Updated April 14, 2011 12:00 AM Comments (0) View comments

MANILA, Philippines - Over 135 groups have asked the government to impose a permanent ban on endosulfan, a highly toxic pesticide, and to actively support a global move to have it eliminated for good to protect public health and the environment.

Through a petition letter, the groups led by the EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) and Pesticide Action Network (PAN) urged tougher action against the pesticide ahead of a crucial inter-governmental meeting that is expected to seal the fate of endosulfan.

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) will meet on April 25-29 in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss matters related to the implementation of the treaty, including the recommendation by a panel of scientific experts to ban endosulfan.

Last year, the UN POPs Review Committee (POPRC) recommended to add endosulfan, after a rigorous process for evaluating the chemical, to Annex A of the treaty as a new POP for worldwide elimination.

The “AlerToxic Patrol” volunteers of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project PROTECT (People Responding and Organizing against Toxic Chemical Threats) brought the petition letter to the Department of Agriculture (DA) where a picket was also held.

The petitioners asked Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala to be in step with nations which will soon make a historic decision of adding endosulfan to the POPs treaty, which will eventually lead to its elimination from global use.

Over 80 governments, including the state governments of Kerala and Karnataka in India, the 27-nation European Union and the governments of Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea and Sri Lanka have taken decisive steps to protecthuman health and the environment by phasing out and banning endosulfan.

In June last year, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced its action to terminate all uses of endosulfan because it “poses unacceptable risks to agricultural workers and wildlife, and can persist in the environment.”

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