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Leaked document shows the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry planned to delay pesticide ban

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Leaked document shows the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry planned to delay pesticide ban | The Thaiger

The Hazardous Substance Committee may fail to reach a decision on whether to ban paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos, said Apichin Jotikashira, Industry Ministry Deputy Permanent Secretary.

Apichin, who is a committee member, told environmental activists and those who claim they have been affected by agrochemicals today, that if new information about the impact of banning the herbicides and pesticides was presented, the committee may delay a decision.

His remarks were made before the committee met to reconsider a phase-out of paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos.

“We would like to ensure that the committee members will make a decision on this issue very carefully and transparently by considering every aspect of a ban with the interests of the country as a first priority,” he said.

“There are regulations for the committee to follow during the meeting and decision-making procedures. Every member is free to make their own decision without being led or persuaded by the head of the committee. We may not even have to vote on this issue if a consensus is reached.”

Meanwhile, the BioThai Foundation has leaked the document, which it alleges is a detailed proposal of the Agriculture Department asking the committee not to ban the three chemicals, delaying any order for three years.

According to the leaked document, the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry agreed that Thailand should stop using the agrochemicals.

However, a majority of Thailand’s 25 million farmers heavily rely on the substances so any phase out the chemicals should be carried out step-by-step to allow farmers time to change their habits and seek alternatives.

The document also suggested that the committee should instead consider the total banning of paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos after the five agriculture ministry regulations to restrict the usage and limit imports of the three farm chemicals had been enforced for two years.

BioThai accused agriculture minister Grisada Boonrach of attempting to postpone the banning of the three agrochemicals as he wanted his successor to make the unpopular decision.

Leaked document shows the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry planned to delay pesticide ban | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation



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Election

Pheu Thai wins the Lower House – Unofficial from the EC

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Pheu Thai wins the Lower House – Unofficial from the EC | The Thaiger
The Election Commission has just announced the official tally for constituency MPs, showing that Pheu Thai Party has won 138 of the 350 seats on offer.

Phalang Pracharat, meanwhile, came in second with 96 seats, trailed by Bhumjaithai with 39. The Democrats only won 33 seats, while Future Forward snared 30.

The rest of the seats were shared between Chartthaipattana (7), Prachachart (6) and Action Coalition for Thailand (1)

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Election

Police checking 50, mostly, minor violations post election day

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Police checking 50, mostly, minor violations post election day | The Thaiger

Police around Thailand are prosecuting 50 alleged violations of election laws and continue to monitor the post-poll situation for further signs of potential trouble.

The Royal Thai Police say they’re on alert for ‘ill-intentioned groups’ fomenting post-election chaos, national police deputy spokesman Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen said this morning.

The 50 cases under investigation include buying votes, deliberate destruction of ballots and the sale of alcohol while polling was underway.

Krissana says police were working closely with the Election Commission to ensure fast, transparent and fair investigations.

He said both the March 17 advance polling and yesterday’s election proceeded without violence and national police chief Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda had thanked the rank and file for their good work in providing public order and security at polling stations, facilitating traffic flow, and serving in the transport and safeguarding of ballot boxes.

Intelligence officers were now monitoring the situation, he said.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Thai Life

STUDY: Daily marijuana use increases risk of psychotic disorder

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STUDY: Daily marijuana use increases risk of psychotic disorder | The Thaiger

The legalisation of medical-use marijuana continues to sweep across the globe, recently in Thailand where the roll-out and enactment of practical uses of the new legislation are underway.

But this spread of a new legal credibility of the drug continues whilst possible health risks (or benefits) are not fully understood. Properly medically supervised or scientifically conducted studies continue to come out weekly with varied results about the benefits or dangers of long-term cannabis use.

According to new research published in ‘Lancet Psychiatry‘, a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal, people who use cannabis daily, as well as those who use high-potency weed, may be three times more likely to develop psychotic disorder than never-users.

The new evidence is consistent with previous experiments that suggest heavy use and high THC concentration cannabis – a 10% concentration of THC (the psychoactive substance within cannabis) or higher – can be harmful to mental health.

Dr. Marta Di Forti, lead author and a clinician scientist at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London said the ‘Psychotic disorder’ was precisely what was studied.

“We are talking about people who meet diagnostic criteria and come to the attention of mental health services to receive treatment for psychosis. So they have to have symptoms of psychosis across the spectrum – hallucination, delusions – that have lasted at least for a week.”

Currently, medical cannabis is legal in most European countries, though recreational use is only legal in Netherlands, Czech Republic and Spain (in certain situations). Meanwhile many other countries continue to discuss legalisation.

Di Forti and her co-authors pf the paper looked at data from five countries in Europe… UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and France. Brazil was also included in the sample where cannabis is illegal.

They found 901 patients with a first-time episode of psychosis over a five-year period and compared them to 1,237 matched non-patients.

Daily use of cannabis was more common among patients with psychosis compared to the controls, they found. About 30% of patients reported using cannabis daily compared to just 7% of non-patient controls. And use of high potency cannabis was also more common among patients than controls – 37% compared to 19%.

The study results do not provide enough information for her to say “use only this amount, only this often” to remain safe.

At this stage, the paper estimates one in five new cases of psychosis may be linked to daily cannabis use, and one in 10 cases linked to use of high potency cannabis.

You can read the full report in Lancet Psychiatry.

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