Paraquat-led farm chemical ban a hit

Paraquat-led farm chemical ban a hit

Paraquat-led farm chemical ban a hit
A producer sprays a grain field in Ayutthaya with chemicals. ( Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul )

Good indicators are emerging that Thailand’s food safety practices are improving after its efforts to ban harmful herbicides and pesticides, paraquat and chlorpyrifos, and limit the use of pesticides proved a victory, a conference was told.

Fewer people&nbsp, are being treated for ailments related to their usage and abuse, the weekend workshop,” A Decade for Driving to Food Safety”, was told.

The Thai Pesticide Alert Network ( Thai- Pan ), led by Prokchon Usap, said the region made a significant advance as a result of the government’s actions, which saw a decline in agrochemical imports from 128 million kg in 2017 to 113 million kg in 2022.

However, the number of people with problems related to agricultural use was down from 22.75 cases per 100, 000 of people in 2017 to 8.72 per 100, 000 people in 2023, or 2.6 times lower.

The Department of Medical Sciences reported finding that 26.6 % of analysis samples contained dangerous chemicals in 2019 and beyond.

But, zero contamination was detected in specimens after the ban, she said.

Thai-Pang added that in the future, the amount of public health costs related to agrichemical-led conditions is expected to decrease by over 48 billion ringgit.

Ms Prokchon added Thai- Pan monitored four kinds of agro usage, particularly phosphate, organophosphate, pesticides and pyrethroids, in exported fruit and vegetables from 2012 to 2022.

The network and its partners will continue to push for a total ban of these four agrichemicals after it discovered that the contamination levels had already decreased from 50 % to 20 %.

She likewise expressed gratitude for a bigger facility that is now equipped to test for around 500 compounds.

” We are delighted with the government’s effort to raise food safety standards, as less molecular pollution is being found in examples of fruit and vegetables. While 60 % were tainted in 2016, that number had dropped to 51 % in 2022.

It shows that we are now on the right track to dealing with the chemical at its source, she said.

At the conclusion of the discussion, Thai-Pan and its partners agreed that cooperation from all stakeholders can lead to a nationwide movement for food safety, with the potential for even less agrochemical use by farmers in the future.