FAO encourages early withdrawal of highly toxic pesticides
Assurances given by Danish company
20 December 2006, Rome - Danish chemicals company Cheminova has submitted plans for phasing out highly toxic forms of pesticides in developing countries to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in line with the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides.
FAO welcomed the move as “a step in the right direction” in an ongoing process involving the Danish Government, civil society, the press and Cheminova itself in seeking to reduce the risks stemming from hazardous pesticides.
Cheminova Managing Director Bjørn Albinus yesterday submitted what he called a “realistic scenario” for phasing out the World Health Organization Class I pesticides, including methyl parathion and monocrotophos, from developing countries between next year and 2010. But Mr Albinus said that the process could be accelerated as circumstances allowed.
FAO’s Director of Plant Production and Protection, Shivaji Pandey, noted that in line with the provisions of the International Code of Conduct the phase-out should take place as soon as possible and “the sooner the better”.
“There is no way to ensure the chemicals involved would be used within acceptable margins of risk in developing countries,” he added. Use of the pesticides has been prohibited or severely restricted in OECD countries and FAO would like to see them banned at the earliest date in developing countries, where farm workers often lack adequate personal protection.
FAO noted that a growing number of developing countries, including China, Thailand and Viet Nam, are prohibiting the use of methyl parathion, monocrotophos and several other Class I pesticides. Mr Pandey called upon other companies and governments to follow these examples and expedite the withdrawal of WHO Class I pesticides – the most hazardous – from developing country markets in line with recommendations in the Code of Conduct.
Media Relations, FAO
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