Bayer confirms phase-out for endosulfan
EJF has received confirmation that the German agrochemical company, Bayer, has ceased production of endosulfan and will cease sales in Australia by the end of 2010.
Bayer maintains that 'the officially registered and authorized use of endosulfan is safe posing no unacceptable risk to humans, animals and the environment if products were handled and applied according to company directions, label recommendations and possible restrictions imposed by the competent authorities which have evaluated and authorized the use of endosufan under local agricultural conditions.'
However, EJF, having witnessed firsthand the unsafe use of endosulfan in Asia and Africa - including spraying in fields near where children were working or playing - and by farmers who have been given no training in safe use and no protective equipment, believes that this deadly chemical is outdated, and should be banned globally.
With endosulfan no longer under patent (making its production less economically attractive), and as the producer of several new pesticide alternatives to endosulfan, Bayer has chosen to phase-out the chemical.
'This is great news for both the rural communities who are directly impacted by the pesticide, including numerous deaths each year, and for those in remote regions including the Himalayas and Arctic regions where endosulfan, as a persistent organic pollutant (like DDT) ends up. We hope that other manufacturers will follow Bayer's lead and end the production of what EJF considers to be one of the most harmful chemical pesticides that remains in widespread use, especially in developing countries, where it continues to pose a threat to human health and environmental security. But whilst we support Bayer's announcement on endosulfan, we firmly believe that the best alternative to endosulfan is not new chemical pesticides, but international support for the growing numbers of farmers who are choosing to go organic' Juliette Williams, EJF Director
In October, a meeting of the Stockholm Convention will again consider the potential for a global ban on endosulfan, and EJF will shortly release a report highlighting why the international community needs to work together to eradicate this chemical, and ensure the 'end of the road for endosulfan'.
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