|Quarterly / June 2011
2 articles are free this issue!
Victory! Endosulfan slated for global ban
In Geneva on April 29, the infamous pesticide endosulfan was added to the list of Persistent Organic Pollutants scheduled for worldwide phase-out. The decision rewarded PAN's 17 year campaign to get the major POPs pesticides banned everywhere. Kristin Schafer and Karl Tupper from PANNA recall the Stockholm Convention's beginnings and report on the recent Conference of Parties.
Self monitoring for self-protection
Pesticides used on cotton are particularly toxic, and in Senegalese communities, where they are used in unsafe ways and without understanding of their hazards, serious adverse health effects are common. Training communities to monitor use and health impacts in the cotton-growing zone of Velingara in Senegal is starting to improve practices. Dr Alassane Sarr and Mourtada Thiam from PAN Africa report.
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Pesticide use continues to grow in Brazil
Another year passes and Brazil still maintains its ranking as the world's largest consumer of pesticides. The consequences of this unenviable record are now starting to become clearer to the wider public, as cases of contamination are published. While pesticide companies introduce new pesticide-resistant crops, civil society launches a national campaign against pesticides. AS-PTA Agricultura Familiar e Agroecologia report on the situation.
Pesticides course to strengthen developing country capacity
A new course at the University of Cape Town is educating pesticide regulators from developing countries in pesticide risk management. Eloise Touni reports on this innovative approach.
EU undermines need for independent science in pesticide approval
For many years European government decisions on pesticides were based almost solely on industry toxicity tests. Whether these tests can be trusted after several major cases of fraud in the past, remains the big questions. Hans Muilerman from PAN Europe investigates.
From 'spraying to death' to judicious use in Kenya
Kenyan farmers rely greatly on the use of pesticides in agricultural production of fresh export vegetables sold in European countries. Stringent EU pesticide standards have introduced a new order in the use of pesticides in production of fresh vegetables destined for sale in developed countries. Julius Okello from the University of Nairobi shows that compliance with these standards has positive effects on farmers' triple bottom lines.
Plus: Campaign hero - Nick Mole
Roundup and birth defects - is the public being kept in the dark?
June 2011 saw the publishing of what could be one of the most significant reports highlighting the way in which regulators and the pesticide manufacturing industry conspire to keep the facts about the potential harm pesticides can do to human health hidden from the public. In this report by a group of international scientists, the researchers summarise the independent literature on glyphosate effects, and call on the EC to carry out an objective review urgently.
Plus: Another backward step as UK aims to change training requirements
In December 2010 DEFRA released its response to the public consultation on implementing new EU pesticide legislation, in particular how it intends to implement the new EU directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides. Nobody expected the proposed changes that have since come to light. Nick Mole reports.
Something nasty lurking upstream of Cambridge
Remediation of an old pesticide manufacturing site near Cambridge is posing risks for communities. The site is a reminder that development of safer crop protection remedies - especially those integrated with natural and biological controls - are important to protect not only farmland but also sites where the products are manufactured and stored. Jean Perraton, Dr Charles Turner and John Terry report on behalf of the Cam Valley Forum.
Plus: NGOs demand implementation of new EU pesticide legislation
The UK government concludes from its consultation on the new EU pesticide directive that only very minor changes are needed to existing regulations in the UK. Five leading conservation organisations disagree. Nick Mole from PAN UK explains.
A big step forward for pesticide dealers in Mali
In an effort to prevent stockpiles o fobsolete pesticides building up again following the removal of historic stocks, the Africa Stockpiles Programme in Mali is targetting the distribution chain. Mr Mamadou Camara and Dr Cheikh Hamallah Sylla of the PASP-Mali project report.
Plus: Poisonings in Burkina Faso support paraquat's inclusion in watch list
Paraquat has been on the radar of public health organisations since 1985, and has finally been flagged for action at the global level, invoking an underutilised mechanism of the Rotterdam Convention. Barbara Dinham explains.
And: POPs webinars
Book reviews: Stop poisonings, a guide to gardening for beneficial insects and an ode to bees.
Guest editor: Eloise Touni
photo: AS-PPTA Agricultura Familiar e Agroecologia
photo: Julius Okello