Published: Friday 31 December 2004

poisonous exemption: The US and other industrialised countries have been granted further exemption for using methyl bromide as a pesticide and soil fumigant. A recent meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol, a global treaty to phase out ozone-depleting substances, decided to give a fresh exemption of over 2,600 tonnes to the industrialised countries for 2005, in addition to the over 12,500 tonnes agreed to in March 2004 (see Down To Earth, 'Disruptive US' , April 30, 2004). The use of the chemical was originally to be phased out in 2005, but the developed nations have managed to get extensions on the ground that the chemical doesn't have any economically viable substitute.

The parties also agreed to grant the industrialised countries over 11,700 tonnes of exemptions for 2006, along with 3,000 tonnes worth of provisional exemptions for the same year. All the exemptions would take into account existing stockpiles of unused or recycled methyl bromide.

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