Alternatives to endosulfan

FAO to give suggestions on the pesticide to committee on persistent organic pollutants

By Savvy Soumya Misra
Published: Thursday 20 October 2011

An ad hoc working group has been established to review and identify the information gaps on alternatives to endosulfan and to assess these alternatives. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will be roped in to undertake studies on integrated pest management alternatives to endosulfan.

This was decided by the seventh Persistent Organic Pollutant Review Committee (POPRC) of the Stockholm Convention, an international treaty to eliminate and restrict production and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The seventh POPRC meet was held in Geneva between October 10 and 14.

The decision on employing a consultant was a follow up of the Conference of Parties to the Convention in April, which listed endosulfan and its isomers for elimination with exemptions for specified crop-pest complexes. It had requested POPRC to assess alternatives to endosulfan.

The review committee has also decided to invite non-profits and government organisations to provide technical and financial resources to support the Committee to employ a consultant to review information and assess the alternatives. The decision of POPRC was adopted unopposed.

It was also decided that the Secretariat will collect information from parties and observers to facilitate access to information on endosulfan alternatives, and to provide guidance to strengthen the capacity of countries to implement alternatives. Eighty-four alternatives to endosulfan were suggested in at the POPRC meeting.
What countries said at POPRC 7

France supported relying on bodies like the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for additional analyses on alternatives of POPs

Argentina underscored the need to assess alternatives not only in light of PoPs characteristics, but also to consider their socio-economic effect, citing the example of their potential impact on honey bees

India wanted to know how to assess alternatives in the absence of complete information on the 84 suggested alternatives. The chairperson suggested modeling could be used in the absence of data

Colombia shared its experience in eliminating endosulfan in coffee production and suggested that FAO coordinate an examination of such success stories
Switzerland raised concerns regarding the feasibility of conducting risk assessments of all the proposed alternatives and suggested focusing on alternatives for the specific crop-pest complexes for which there are exemptions

Tanzania called on FAO to assist countries in undertaking monitoring, including that of  the impact of alternatives on pollinators
The Czech Republic noted that the PoPs' Global Monitoring Plan (GMP) includes endosulfan, although there are limitations

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