Berita Kaum Tani, Official publication of Aliansi Gerakan Reforma Agraria (AGRA) Sukumulya village is a 700 hectare fertile village with rich natural resources with a population around 5,500 people. The looming construction of the West Java International Airport (WJIA) poses a clear threat of eviction of the farming community and the destruction of natural resources.
We are happy to inform you that PANAP’s factsheet on Herbicide Resistant Crops will be available in a new format and on-line at the PANAP website.
The factsheet will greatly help advocates like us in our fight against agrochemical cartels that bind societies to the vicious cycle of pesticides use. The author, Bill Freese’s pronouncements regarding the marketing of crops with multiple resistance to herbicides is now happening.
Below is the factsheet’s synopsis:
Herbicide Resistant Crops: The Truth About the World’s Most Widely Grown Engineered Plants debunks the agrochemical industry’s claims that genetically modified (GM) crops are the solution to world hunger and malnutrition. Citing various evidence, the factsheet reveals that the use of glyphosate-resistant seeds (GRCs) has worsened the plight of small farmers and tied them up to Monsanto, DuPont, Dow and Bayer.
The health and environmental impacts are as devastating including cancer and other serious illnesses as well as depletion of soil nutrients and expansion of resistant weeds, among others. Worse, the agrochem giants are now poised to release crops resistant to more hazardous herbicides. Freese’s article exposes the flawed science of GM crops, warns governments from embracing the technology, and strongly recommends the adoption of agroecology.
The module introduces users with basic knowledge and concepts on human rights, the work and its challenges and opportunities, and equips users with skills on how to launch a campaign on land and resource grabbing through human rights advocacy.
“We smelled something bad and ran out of classes. Some of us had headaches, felt like vomiting and felt dizzy” said students of Po Ampil School, Takeo Province, Cambodia. They experienced these symptoms after the field near by their classrooms were sprayed by pesticides. Almost 30 students reported these symptoms. Over the years, school children have been poisoned by pesticides. In 2014, teachers from Po Ampil School approached Keam Makarady of CEDAC to conduct awareness workshops for children, and teachers. Teachers were concerned about dangers of pesticides after attending the No Pesticide Use Week event organized by CEDAC.
The past two years, No Pesticide Use Week Campaign has been aimed to protect our children from toxic pesticides (POC). Workshops on POC were held at Po Ampil primary school, Takeo province to highlight the impacts of pesticides that were found in the school during the campaign. There were 69 people (30 women) who participated in this event including farmers, students, teacher and local authorities.
Children are more vulnerable to pesticides, as per unit body weight they breathe more air, eat more food and drink more water. Long term impacts of pesticide exposure are linked to childhood cancer, autism, lowering of I.Q and other learning disorders among children.
Children in rural areas are often more vulnerable to the exposure to pesticides as they walk barefoot and are more exposed to pesticides than urban children.
Pesticide poisonings have been a growing concern in Cambodia, where more than 400 children were poisoned by pesticides last year due to contaminated sandwiches.
“Our school located in Po village, Sambour commune, Traing district, Takeo province. The school is surrounded by paddy fields and rice is harvested three times a year. There are a lot of pest attacks during the cultivation of rice and many types of pesticides are being sprayed to control pest. The use of pesticides has affected the environment, the people and my students as well. My students have reported feeling dizzy, nauseated and some were not well. After the incident, I shared my concerns with the local authorities and the surrounding farmers. As a result, they only spray on Sunday to protect the children during schooling hours.” – Teacher of Po Ampil School. Video Link https://www.facebook.com/pesticidesincambodia/videos?ref=page_internal
Discussion are underway for pesticide free buffer zones in this school among CEDAC and the teachers.
When local farmers were interviewed by CEDAC and PANAP many of them expressed that they were not aware of other alternatives. One farmers said “We sell our rice Vietnamese wholesalers as they are near to the borders.” High yielding rice varieties grown by the farmers require more chemical fertilizer and pesticides use as they are more prone to pest attacks as compared to local varieties said Keam Makarday.
Many of the famers interviewed said they were also poisoned in various degrees. One farmer had to go all the way to Vietnam to seek medical treatment. New plans are on the way to engage the community in Takeo on agroecology practices to protect the children and environment against pesticides.
WHO class 1a : Extremely Hazardous
WHO class 1b : Highly Hazardous
EU R26: very toxic by inhalation (R26) according to EU Directive 67/548 5
Muta (EU 1,2): substances known to be mutagenic to man (category 1) / substances which should be regarded as if they are mutagenic to man (category 2), according to EU Directive 67/548
Repro (EU 1,2): substances known to impair fertility in humans (Category 1) / substances which should be regarded as if they impair fertility in humans and/or substances which should be regarded as if they cause developmental toxicity to humans (category 2), according to EU Directive 67/548
EU EDC= endocrine disruptor
ChE Inh= cholesterase inhibitor
vB: very bio accumulative, according to REACh criteria as listed by FOOTPRINT (BCF>5000)
vP: very persistent, according to REACh criteria as listed by FOOTPRINT (half-life > 60 d in marine – or freshwater of half-life >180 d in marine or freshwater sediment
HHP = listed on highly hazardous pesticide list
T20 = listed on 20 terrible pesticides that are toxic to children
The book contains 25 stories of 25 women farmers from Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and China. The booklet highlights how women farmers were influenced by the work of dedicated organizations and how various activities and support resulted in mobilization of communities to start working for improved livelihoods, through reduction of pesticides use and shift to agroecology.
Questionnaire 6: Children’s Exposure to Pesticides section of the Community-based Pesticide Action Monitoring (CPAM). PANAP is documenting first-hand accounts about children’s exposure to pesticides and how this exposure affects them. The information we gather will directly inform our regional campaign to limit the exposure of children and their communities to highly hazardous pesticides (most of which are still in use throughout Asia despite international calls to ban these toxic chemicals). The questionnaire has three parts: (1) exposure to pesticides as well as their use and management by the school/agricultural community; (2) Child/individual interview; and (3) community health concerns. Your responses will be treated with utmost confidentiality. If you wish to remain anonymous or submit a pseudonym, you may do so.
This section of the handbook details the guidelines on using the Community-based Pesticide Action Monitoring (CPAM) Mobile Application. The CPAM mobile application has been built on an Android platform and are designed to prvide a more focused approach towards data gathering for the various questionnaire under the Information and Consent form for respondents. The CPAM mobile applcation has 3 main modules, which makes it a feasible data collection, data storing and data analytical application.