Stop endosulfan

Friday 31 October 2008

Philippines House threatens zero budget for pesticides

THE lower chamber of the Philippines' Congress has threatened to block funds to the agency that controls pesticide use in the country if it did not stop importing endosulfan.

Endosulfan, a highly toxic chemical and a persistent organochlorine pesticide, is widely used in banana and pineapple farms in the archipelago.

Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (fpa), an agency of the Department of Agriculture, allots permits to import endosulfan. This year's permits expire in December.

During the budget hearing, Representative Rufus Rodriguez said he would propose a P1 budget, the lowest fund allocation, or even zero for fpa if it continued to import endosulfan after the permits expired. fpa has sought a budget of Piso 91.9 million (us $1.95 million) for the year 2009.

fpa administrator Norlito Dicana said the authority might not renew the permits because it has identified four less toxic alternatives to endosulfan, pirimiphos methyl, avermectin, fenazaquin and fenpyroximate.

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