A new study shows that many Cambodian vegetable farmers suffer from acute pesticide poisoning. It is the latest to indicate that Cambodia, like many other developing nations, is struggling to protect farmers and consumers from the dangers of pesticides.
Twenty-two-year-old Srey Kuot is a contract farmer who grows vegetables on a plot of land outside the capital, Phnom Penh. Like most Cambodian farmers she knows pesticides can harm her health. But, like most, she mixes several into a poisonous cocktail.
She says when she sprays pesticides she uses gloves, boots, a mask and a long shirt and trousers. If she did not, she says, it would enter her body and cause illness, which will be very difficult to cure, so she has to take precautions.
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A NEW report released by the Pesticide Action Network at a UN Environment Programme forum on the use of toxic chemicals has found that Cambodia and 10 other Asian countries are awash in highly hazardous pesticides.
Case studies conducted across Asia in farming areas that included Peam Chor district, Prey Veng province, showed that 66 percent of pesticides used in agriculture were highly hazardous, according to standards set by international bodies such as the World Health Organisation.
The report found that 90 percent of farmers in Prek Krabrau commune who sprayed their crops with pesticides routinely suffered from dizziness, 87 percent suffered from headaches, 70 percent experienced blurry vision and 52 percent reported hand tremors.
Cambodian law already prohibits the use of 116 chemical pesticides and restricts the use of another 40; however, the enforcement of these bans has been consistently undermined by the illegal importation of the chemicals, mainly from Vietnam.
Read the full story at The Phnom Penh Post
Nusa Dua. As Indonesia hosts an international meeting on toxic and hazardous chemicals here, a nongovernmental organization said on Sunday that an increase in the country’s pesticide use had resulted in the poisoning of farmers.
That claim was made by Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP) in its latest report, “Asian Regional Report on Community Monitoring of Highly Hazardous Pesticide Use.” The report was released before the 11th Simultaneous Extraordinary Meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, which opens today and runs through Wednesday.
The study was conducted in 2008 in collaboration with local partner organizations from eight countries — Indonesia, Cambodia, China, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam — with 1,304 farmers as respondents. It found that 66 percent of the active ingredients in pesticides used on vegetables, cotton, paddy rice and other crops were highly hazardous, according to PAN International classification criteria.
In Indonesia, the study was conducted by Gita Pertiwi, a green group focusing on pesticide issues. The group interviewed 100 farmers in Wonosobo, Central Java, in 2008.
Read the full story at Jakarta Globe