50 NGOs push for ban on endosulfan
GMA News TV
July 3, 2008
MANILA, Philippines - Members of various citizens' groups on Thursday asked the government to ban endosulfan in the Philippines, stressing that its continued use is akin to a ticking "toxic time bomb."
Environmental activists dressed themselves as "lethal monsters" while others wore toxic masks and carried a huge mock bomb, representing endosulfan and the many grave threats it poses on humans and the environment, as they demonstrated outside the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) office in Quezon City.
The activists urged the government to impose "without delay and without exemption" a complete ban for all uses of endosulfan.
"To reduce the unacceptable threat of endosulfan to human health, wildlife and the environment, we ask the government to ban endosulfan and revoke all exemptions without delay," Dr. Romy Quijano of the Pesticide Action Network-Philippines and the International POPs Elimination Network said.
PAN and IPEN, along with other groups, have long been campaigning for a global ban on endosulfan.
Considered highly acutely toxic, endosulfan is banned in the European Union and several other countries. It was also banned in the Philippines in 1993, but the FPA allowed its restricted use in 1995 to control a disease that threatened the country's pineapple export industry.
Calls for a renewed ban on the pesticide have been revived amid fears of contamination from the endosulfan cargo of the MV Princess of the Stars, which capsized off Sibuyan Island in the central Philippines on June 21 at the height of typhoon "Frank". The shipment was owned by Del Monte Philippines Inc., one of the two biggest pineapple producers in the country.
The Manila-based groups were joined by a representative of the Sibuyan Island Sentinels League for Environment, Inc. (Sibuyan ISLE), the lone environmental group in the area, in calling for decisive steps versus possible chemical devastation of the famed Sibuyan Island.
While the Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday said laboratory tests on water samples taken at the accident site were found negative for endosulfan, the protesters said the government and the industry should still "switch to ecological, non-chemical pest control practices in agriculture for the health and safety of our farmers, workers, consumers and the whole environment."
Among the groups endorsing for a total ban on endosulfan were the EcoWaste Coalition's Task Force Organic Farming, Add Up! Volunteers, Alliance of Progressive Labor, Ban Toxics!, Buklod Tao, Cavite Green Coalition, Central Visayas Fisherfolk Development Center, Concerned Citizens Against Pollution, Earth Council Asia Pacific, Earth Renewal Project, Earth UST, Ecological Society of the Philippines, EcoWaste Coalition - Task Force Organic Farming, Foodfirst Information and Action Network, Freedom from Debt Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Global Call to Action Against Poverty-Philippines.
Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy Environment and Sustainable Economy, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Health Care Without Harm, Hugalna-Bohol, Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternatives Legal Services, Inc., Integrated Rural Development Foundation, Institute for the Development of Educational and Ecological Alternatives, the International POPs Elimination Project-Southeast Asia.
Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission - Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines, Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya, Krusada sa Kalikasan, Legal Rights & Natural Resources Center-Kasama sa Kalikasan/Friends of the Earth Philippines, Lingkod Tao-Kalikasan, Manabo Development Foundation, Inc., Miriam PEACE, Mother Earth Foundation, November 17 Movement.
The Organic Movement in the Philippines, PartidoKalikasan Institute, People Against Illegitimate Debt, Philippine Greens, Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas, Pusod, Inc., Sagip Pasig Movement, Save Tanon Strait Citizens Movement, Sining Yapak, Soljuspax, Task Force Food Sovereignty, World Environment Day-Philippines Network, Xaverian Missionaries, Youth Against Debt and Zero Waste Philippines. - GMANews.TV