Thailand’s Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul reiterated today that there will be no delay to the enforcement of the ban on paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos, which will come into effect on December 1st.
Mr. Anutin, who is also deputy prime minister, reasserted the Public Health Ministry’s backing of the National Hazardous Substances Committee’s ban after the Department of Agriculture is reported to have proposed that the committee delay the it for six months, in order to give it more time to dispose of the 38,000 tonnes of remaining stocks of the chemicals.
The public health minister maintained that the main concern of his ministry is protecting people from the health threat posed by the three toxic substances, adding that the responsibility of finding appropriate alternatives rests with other agencies.
He said that the ministry’s representatives on the NHSC, who voted to ban the three chemicals at its last meeting, will stand by their decision at the next meeting of the committee, when the Agriculture Department’s delay proposal may be tabled for consideration.
Mr. Anutin said that the department and proponents of the delay should consult the law to see whether this is even possible.
He pleaded with all parties concerned to take into consideration the health of the people and to treat the matter with honesty, without any hidden agenda.
The minister also challenged a claim by supporters of the delay, that most people want the Government to review the ban, citing the results of public hearings.
He said that all the MPs, who represent the people, agree with the ban.