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Renewed demands to ban paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos in Thailand

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Renewed demands to ban paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos in Thailand | The Thaiger

Despite years of completely conflicting evidence, on both sides, and even the World Health Organisation coming up with its wobbly ‘probably carcinogenic’ finding, glysophate (RoundUp), and two other herbicides and pesticides used in Thailand, are coming under renewed fire.

Thai activists are planning to launch lawsuits against local policymakers for their failure to ban three key agri-chemicals in Thailand, following victories in two separate cases in the US against the major agriculture conglomerate Monsanto.

Consumer protection organisations and the committee for healthcare system reform yesterday disclosed their decisions to sue the Hazardous Substance Committee and other related agencies for allowing the use of three harmful chemicals – paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos – by citing the successful examples of similar lawsuits in the US as role models.

Prokchol Ousap, coordinator of the Thailand Pesticide Alert Network (Thai-PAN), said that after the court victories in the US, Thai consumer protection activists were considering whether to replicate these successes in the Kingdom by suing those responsible for the continued allowance of the use of hazardous herbicides and pesticides.

Prokchol revealed that the activists’ main target was the Hazardous Substance Committee. On May 23 a majority of its members voted to restrict rather than ban the use of paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos based on the claim that their impacts on health remained debatable.

“We are still discussing which charges can be used and should be selected for this lawsuit to campaign for the goal of banning three widely used herbicides and pesticides and making sure that our food is safe from these harmful agrochemicals by adapting the strategies used in the successful cases in the US,” she explained.

Prokchol insisted that despite not knowing whether their legal fight in Thailand would be as fruitful as the cases in the US, they were sure that regardless of the final result, the litigation against the major players who allowed the use of dangerous farm chemicals would let society see how strong the Thai legal system is on the task of protecting consumers’ interests.

Last week, a US Federal Appeals Court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban the use of chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide, within 60 days as it was clear that it was harmful to both the environment and public health.

Also, San Francisco’s Superior Court on Friday ruled that Monsanto must pay US$289 million (9.65 billion baht) in damages to a school groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, as the conglomerate’s herbicide product Roundup had caused him to be stricken with cancer.

Separately, the head of the Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, Dr Thiravat Hemachudha, also plans to sue the Hazardous Substance Committee, as well as related agencies.

“The decision of the Hazardous Substance Committee not to ban paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos in Thailand is a clear defiance against the previous resolution of three ministries: the Public Health Ministry, the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, and the Industry Ministry,” he said.

As a member of the healthcare system reform committee, Thiravat said he would today discuss the issue with Public Health Minister Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn.

Renewed demands to ban paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation



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Thailand

Thailand is ‘least miserable’ country in the world again

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Thailand is ‘least miserable’ country in the world again | The Thaiger

Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says he’s delighted over Thailand’s rating as the “least miserable” economy in the latest Bloomberg Misery Index. The annual Misery Index is calculated as the sum of a country’s inflation and unemployment rates.  The index compares the average of economists’ forecasts for each country.

The US moved six places to 13th least miserable and the UK improved four spots to 16th least.

Thailand scored 2.1 in the 2019 Index, which was the same score it received last year, making it the “least miserable” country out of 62 economies as rated by Bloomberg. Switzerland improved to second least miserable. Venezuela was rated the “most miserable economy” with inflation projected at about six million percent this year.

But Bloomberg says that Thailand is often rated least miserable due, in large part, to its rather unorthodox way of counting employment as well as their low fertility rate and aging population.

The Bank of Thailand lists Thailand’s unemployment rate at 0.9 percent and inflation at 1.1 for last year.

Thailand is 'least miserable' country in the world again | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Phuket seastead being removing by Thai Navy today

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Phuket seastead being removing by Thai Navy today | The Thaiger

Navy officers are in the process of dismantling and removing the Phuket seastead today.

About 300 navy officers are currently in the process removing the structure off the south east coast of the island. The operation is expected to be done by today, according to a spokesperson. The seastead will be kept at the Phuket Deap Sea Port as evidence in the case against the builders, Ocean Builders, and Thai/American couple who had been ‘living’ there for a short time.

The Phuket Vice Governor Supot Rodrueng Na Nongkhai says documents will be summited to the Office of Attorney General within one week.

But the company behind the project, Ocean Builders, has announced it will sue Thailand in an international court if the government removes the seastead. This legal test in a court will force the Thai Government to test its hard-line position on the seastead in an international court of law.

Speaking at a press conference at the King Prajadhipok’s Institute on friday, Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam said Thai officials could remove the floating structure from the seas off the Thai mainland, because its presence clearly violated Article 119 of Thailand’s Criminal Code as threatening the Kingdom’s security and sovereignty.

Phuket seastead being removing by Thai Navy today | News by The Thaiger Phuket seastead being removing by Thai Navy today | News by The Thaiger Phuket seastead being removing by Thai Navy today | News by The Thaiger  Phuket seastead being removing by Thai Navy today | News by The Thaiger Phuket seastead being removing by Thai Navy today | News by The Thaiger Phuket seastead being removing by Thai Navy today | News by The Thaiger

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Plastics

Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year | The Thaiger

By the end of 2019 Thailand will be free from three types of plastic – microbeads, cap seals and oxo-degradable plastics.

Then by 2022 four other types of single-use plastics will also be banned – lightweight plastic bags less than 36 microns thick; styrofoam food containers for takeaways; plastic cups and plastic straws – according to a road map approved by the Cabinet.

The Plastic Waste Management Road Map 2018-2030 also includes an ambitious plan for Thailand to use 100 per cent recycled plastic by 2027 in various forms, including turning waste into energy.

The Cabinet has acknowledged the road map and assigned the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry to formulate a draft action plan for plastic waste management, so it is in line with the 20-year national strategy.

Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year | News by The Thaiger

The Cabinet also called for clear details on related agencies’ role in the integration of the work for managing plastic waste, which will also get huge participation from the private and business sectors. The related state agencies should create various mechanisms to propel this forward such as creating a good understanding among agencies, continuously implementing a public relations campaign via social media to achieve the set goals, the Cabinet instructed.

The work procedure must consider lifecycle plastic-waste management so steps are taken from the very start: with plastic products designed applying the “Eco Design” approach, manufacturing and post-consumption disposal which will include garbage separation, transport and storing, recycling and proper disposal.

According to the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, Thais generate as much as 1.14 kilogram of garbage per head per day, contributing to the 27.04 million tonnes of waste per year.

One person uses approximately eight plastic bags a day – or 500 million plastic bags per day for the whole nation.

Most of the plastic waste ends up in the oceans, accounting for 16% of garbage in the seas.

SOURCE: The Nation

Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year | News by The Thaiger

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