The petition of the Cpanema smallholders demands an immediate ban of Endosulfan, Paraquat and Methamidophos. All three substances are highly toxic.
Endosulfan is a 'POP'. This is, according to the Stockholm Convention, an organic pollutant that only decomposes very slowly in the environment. This product is used as an insecticide in farming. It is highly volatile and becomes widely distributed – its traces have even been found in the Himalayas and the arctic. Besides, Endosulfan is bioaccumualtive and is mainly absorbed in fatty tissue.
More than fivety years ago, the Hoechst AG Company in Frankfurt a.M. invented the pesticide. Later, Hoechst became Aventis and its pesticide branch finally turned into Bayer CropScience. In Germany, Endosulfan is forbidden since 1991. But it has been produced and sold abroad during almost twenty years after that. Although in India, China and Israel production still continues. More than sixty countries, among them the European Union, United States of America, Switzerland and various African countries have banned Endosulfan. Moreover, there is a request of including the poison in the list of the Stockholm Convention, which would equal a global ban.
Poison - be cautious!
Endosulfan, Paraquat and Methamidophos are highly toxic substances which can still be used as pesticides and herbicides in certain countries. Especially in developing countries hundreds of farm workers die of intoxication due to direct contact with the substances. Most of these incidences happen because the farmers neither have access to protection clothing and oxygen masks, nor are able to read the instructions. But it is not only direct contact, but also the chronic exposure to the poison due to contaminated water and food in the regions where these pesticides are used extensively, that can cause a lasting damage to health or even death.
In cooperation with: Environmental Justice Foundation, UK