Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific (PANAP)
28 January 2019
PAN Asia Pacific together with PAN Philippines, social movements, global partners and concerned citizens, call on the State Government of the Philippines, through the House of Representatives, to approve and pass the house bills to prohibit the distribution, sale, and use of the herbicides glyphosate (HB 5677) and paraquat (HB 5678) in the country.
The Philippine Government must protect its people, especially its marginalised and vulnerable communities from agrochemical corporations that amass wealth from their products despite the reality on the ground that these cause acute and/or chronic poisonings, ill health, suffering and deaths.
PANAP urges the Country’s policy makers to adopt the precautionary principle, value the wellness of their peoples, and stop the trade and use of highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs); and follow the lead of the different countries, states, and counties that have banned glyphosate and paraquat.
Estimates of tolerable daily intakes for pesticides are based on outdated science. There is substantial evidence that the “inert ingredients” in glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) have synergistic effects if not more toxic than glyphosate itself. These inert substances are usually considered as “trade secret” or confidential, and not included in the determination of the Acceptable Daily Intake.
Rural communities in low and middle income countries (LMICS) are imperilled as the use of personal protective equipment is uncomfortable, if not downright impossible in hot and humid climate.
Communities, especially women and children, must not be exposed to chemical pesticides. GBH has been linked to cancer. The most prominent victim of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (a type of cancer) due to GBH is DeWayne Johnson who won USD 289 M in damages in his case against Monsanto. Johnson is only one among the 4000 US residents who filed claims against the agrochemical giant after becoming chronically ill due to the herbicide.
Our children are more vulnerable to pesticides and have a greater risk for cancer, acute and chronic poisoning compared to adults.
Glyphosate formulations were observed to kill human embryonic kidney cells within 90 minutes, and have endocrine-disrupting action. Exposures at doses considered safe are capable of modifying the gut microbiota in early development, particularly before the onset of puberty, thereby causing health disorders among which are metabolic diseases, hepatic, coronary and gastrointestinal diseases.
Paraquat is now banned in 40 countries including Switzerland, where its manufacturer Syngenta is based. It is very toxic by inhalation and quite fatal when ingested. It has no antidote. It is still in use in the Philippines particularly in oil palm plantations. Paraquat sold under the trade name Gramoxone, has been implicated in the death of about 1,000 people every year in Vietnam. Survivors of paraquat poisoning are doomed to life-long suffering due to Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure, heart failure, or esophageal strictures. In many countries, it remains the pesticide active ingredient responsible for the most fatal poisonings. Exposure and contact has caused impaired vision, skin irritation and skin burn that leads to increased absorption.
Conversion to non-chemical farming should be implemented and it is urgent that we heed the call of UN Special Rapporteurs Hilal Elver and Baskut Tuncak to safeguard human rights to life, health, safe food and environment by adopting agroecology as a global strategy for food/crop production.
We must prioritize human health and life! We must ensure the wellness of our children and the future generations! Fully ban glyphosate and paraquat now and move towards the phasing out of highly hazardous pesticides! Promote agroecology and food sovereignty! Fight for a just and pesticides-free future!
Help end the corporate hold of agriculture by signing at http://bit.ly/2tduVyj
Support the call for a pesticide-free buffer zones around schools at http://bit.ly/2t8ZTHE
Watch video on the DeWayne Johnson vs Monsanto verdict.
Watch video on the dangers of Roundup Herbicide.
Learn more on the consolidated bans on highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs).