Two weeks ago, the Vietnamese government officially announced an immediate ban on Syngenta's paraquat, a highly hazardous pesticide (HHP) and Dow Chemicals' 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), an organic compound found in Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
PAN Vietnam welcomes the Plant Protection Department under Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture's decision to impose the ban upon having weighed in on the different scientific evidences that showed clear harms of the pesticides both on humans and environment.
"We are pleased by the move of the government of Vietnam that has prioritized the health of the Vietnamese people, and we encourage and look forward to more bans of highly hazardous pesticides in Vietnam," said Nguyen Thi Hoa, Deputy Director of Centre for Sustainable Rural Development, one of the NGOs that forms the coalition of PAN Vietnam.
Nguyen Thi Hoa also added, "This is particularly a significant victory as many rural farmers, women and children are poisoned by herbicides like paraquat and 2,4-D in Vietnam."
The prohibition on the use of paraquat and 2,4-D herbicides would most certainly safeguard many Vietnamese farmers, women, children and consumers from the detrimental effects of these two HHPs.
However, the ministry would still allow the trade and use of the products for two years under the phase-out period upon imposing the ban.
"We made the transition time two years so that enterprises can gradually eliminate these products," Hoàng Trung, head of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said as quoted in Viet Nam News.
Sarojeni Rengam the Executive Director of PANAP said, " The announcement of the ban is great, but it should happen immediately without the two-year transition period."
She added, "It should have happened sooner with paraquat as it is known that three teaspoons of it is sufficient to kill a person but we're extremely happy nonetheless. It is a tremendous step forward and we hope the government would adopt non-chemical alternatives such as agroecology agricultural practices."
As for now paraquat is banned in over 38 countries due to its severe impacts on human health. This latest ban comes after many years of hard work of organizations like Research Center for Rural Development, CGFED and SRD, collectively making PAN Vietnam.
Investigation in the household
Cooperation with a PAN network
Children find out Pesticides