Thailand wants to ban these three pesticides. The US government says no | Carey Gillam
Thailand’s leaders have said that as of 1 December, a ban will take effect on the use of the following farming chemicals: chlorpyrifos, an insecticide made popular by Dow Chemical that is known to damage babies’ brains; Syngenta’s paraquat, a herbicide scientists say causes the nervous system disease known as Parkinson’s that has been banned in Europe since 2007; and Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide, which is linked to cancer and other health problems.
Dow, Syngenta and Monsanto have each merged their way to become bigger corporate behemoths in recent years, wielding their enhanced power in Washington to keep these and other money-making pesticides on the market. For example, before merging with DuPont earlier this year and spinning off the agrochemical business that made chlorpyrifos, Dow successfully defended continued use of chlorpyrifos despite scientific concerns. The agrochemical companies are not having as much luck keeping foreign leaders in line, however, amid growing global awareness of the risks many pesticides spell for human health.
Thailand joins dozens of countries that have already banned or are planning bans on paraquat, chlorpyrifos and/or glyphosate. Thailand’s national hazardous substances committee voted last month to ban all three due to the dangers established by scientific evidence.