February 19, 2009
Zubiri urges DENR to ban endosulfan
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri has challenged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to ban the importation, distribution, processing and use of endosulfan and other similar fertilizers and pesticides.
Endosulfan is banned in more than 50 countries including the European Union and some Asian and West African countries. Endosulfan is highly toxic if sufficient exposure occurs by ingestion, skin contact or inhalation.
Zubiri urged the environment department to issue a chemical analysis certificate of endosulfan at the briefing of DENR's implementation of various environmental laws at the Senate committee on environment and natural resources chaired by Sen. Jamby Madrigal last Wednesday.
Endosulfan is a neurotoxic organochlorine insecticide used to control insects on food and non-food crops, as well as a wood preservative. It is highly toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms.
The environment officials present during the briefing assured DENR will "treat endosulfan as a toxic chemical in order to take it out of the jurisdiction of FPA."
Last year, Zubiri conducted a hearing on organic agriculture upon the authorization of then Senate committee on agriculture chairman Eduardo Angara where he alleged the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority of being overly protective of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers..
It was also last year when environmental activists demonstrated outside the FPA office in Quezon City, as a move to urged the government to impose without delay and exemption a complete ban for all uses of endosulfan.
The "agri-farmer" senator from Bukidnon warned that because of the continued use of endosulfan some people from the provinces of Davao and Bukidnon have acquired diseases such as cancer, kidney failure, and leukaemia as a result of their exposure to endosulfan and similar pesticides and fertilizers.
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