Toxic orphans

Published: Thursday 30 June 2005

Warehouses across Latin America are estimated to have 30,000-50,000 tonnes of old pesticides -- frighteningly more than what the un had estimated earlier. The world body came out with this revelation on May 30, 2005. Large stockpiles have been found in Colombia, Paraguay and Bolivia.

According to the un Food and Agriculture Organisation (fao), it would take around us $100 million to clean up the hazardous waste. But fao's obsolete pesticide unit, which retains its training programme in nine Latin American countries, has no cash to conduct a full clean up; it has called for foreign aid. However, with no immediate economic returns, it's very unlikely that any donor agency will oblige.

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