Member of NHSC quits in protest over U-turn on farm chemical ban

A member of the new National Hazardous Substances Committee (NHSC) has resigned from the committee as she challenged a claim, made by Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit, that the committee had unanimously resolved to delay the bans on paraquat and chlorpyrifos for six months until June 1st, and to allow indefinite controlled use of glyphosate.

In her Facebook post late Wednesday night, Associate Professor Jiraporn Limpananont, a lecturer at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Chulalongkorn University, claimed that the statement to the media yesterday by Mr. Suriya, who chaired the meeting, was inaccurate, there was, in fact, no unanimous decision by the committee and that her belief in a ban on the three chemicals remains unchanged.

She said that individual members of the committee where not asked whether they agreed to postponing or modifying enforcement of the ban, but were forced to accept the resolution.

She also challenged Mr. Suriya's statement to the media that glyphosate, a product from US manufacturing giant Monsanto, is safe.

At a press conference last night, Mr. Suriya claimed that no committee members objected to the resolution overturning the resolution of the previous NHSC, which was to ban the three chemicals from December 1st.

He also claimed that glyphosate is currently used in 161 countries and its ban would seriously affect the import of agricultural products from those countries.

The industry minister maintained that the meeting had taken into consideration all aspects regarding the issue.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)