The Landworkers’ Alliance is a union of farmers, growers, foresters and land-based workers.

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    Stop Exporting Banned Pesticides

    (2022 - ongoing)

    What’s the Issue?

    Investigations have revealed that in 2020 the UK Government permitted the export of over 12,000 tonnes of UK-manufactured ‘Banned Pesticides’, despite these chemicals being banned for use in the UK due to the severe risks they pose to human health and the environment . However, loopholes in international trade law are allowing for companies such as Syngenta to manufacture these pesticides – namely the toxic herbicide Paraquat – and export them to countries where they are permitted for use.

    With Paraquat ‘one sip can kill’, and evidence is mounting of the numerous adverse health conditions linked with exposure to the chemical. Furthermore, many of the UK’s exports are bing shipped to low and middle-income countries including Colombia, India, Mexico, Guatemala and Ecuador where weaker regulations, inadequate protective equipment and a lack of translated instructions and labels means that farmers in these countries are at a much higher risk of exposure, illness, and death. Tens of thousands of people – including many children – have died from ingesting Paraquat since the British company Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) first put it on the market in 1962.

    To make matters worse, the UK Government is also currently pushing for increased trade with Brazil – a country where Paraquat use is permitted, and where it has caused more deaths in the past decade than any other pesticide permitted for use.

    A new trade deal with Brazil could mean that not only would UK consumers be eating food laced with toxic pesticide residues, but UK farmers would be undercut by lower import standards, while the deadly risks of pesticide use are exported onto food producers in other countries.

     

    What are we doing?

    We’ve written to key Government departments asking them to put an end to the double standards, to stop granting export licenses for toxic pesticides banned for use in the UK and to put measures in place to protect UK food import standards when it comes to toxic pesticide residues.

    We’ve also compiled this Policy Briefing for MPs.

    What can you do?

     

    For more information on how to get involved please email Yali on yali.bantonheath@landworkersalliance.org.uk.

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