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Anti-paraquat protesters to rally at of Government House

About 500 rubber planters will join members of a network of anti-hazardous substances organizations to rally in front of the Government House on Tuesday to protest against the continued use of three hazardous agro-chemicals, namely paraquat, chlorpyrifos and glyphosate.

Mr Sunthorn Rakwong, president of the association of rubber planters of 16 countries, said on Monday that rubber planters and members of the anti-hazardous substances network would meet with Agriculture Minister Krisda Bonrach in the afternoon after the rally at the Government House to discuss the recent decision of the Hazardous Substances Committee to allow the continued use of paraquat, chlorpyrifos and glyphosate under tighter regulations and controls.

He said the group would also submit to the minister their arguments against the claim of the committee that ban against paraquat will increase the cost of rubber production by 20 percent.

He clarified that paraquat was not widely used in rubber plantations, but was used in limited scale to kill weeds while rubber trees are small. He said rubber planters and their allies would like the Agricultural Technique Department to rethink its support of paraquat, citing the case of Vietnam which has already banned the use of the herbicide paraquat.

Mr Vitoon Lienchamroon of BioThai said they hoped to get support from the minister in their demand for a review of the hazardous substances committee's decision.

He also called on members of the public to join them in opposing the continued use of the three hazardous agro chemicals.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)

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