Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Groups call for removal of endosulfan from Bulacan warehouse

An alliance of environmental advocates have
called for the removal of a hazardous pesticide sitting in a warehouse
near Manila.

Around 10 metric tons of endosulfan, a dangerous pesticide, are
stockpiled in a private warehouse in Meycauayan, Bulacan, according to
environmental groups.

The EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
(GAIA) and Pesticide Action Network (PAN) urged President Benigno
Aquino to ship out of the country the harmful chemical before it
becomes a “toxic challenge.”

The tons of pesticide, imported by Del Monte Philippines, were among
those salvaged from the ill-fated Princess of the Stars that sank off
Sibuyan Island in June 2008.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Environmental
Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) has confirmed to the groups that the
endosulfan are being stored in the warehouse of Vertical Fertilizer
Chemical Corporation in Meycauayan.

“With US and now Canada banning the highly hazardous pesticide, we are
at great risk of inheriting a toxic legacy if the endosulfan stocks
are not shipped out fast by Del Monte, its owner,” warned Dr. Romy
Quijano, President of PAN-Philippines.

At least 69 nations have banned the use of the toxic pesticide. Canada
and US recently joined the list of countries that are against the use
of endosulfan, which is being targeted for a global ban under
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

Roy Alvarez, EcoWaste Coalition president said Del Monte should take
responsibility and assist in removing the pesticide from the facility.

“It’s time for the endosulfan to go and get destroyed in a safe
manner. We urge all parties, including Del Monte, to cooperate to
ensure that Bulacan and the whole country is endosulfan-free,” he

The DENR has issued a temporary ban for the importation and
distribution of pesticide in February 2009, stressing the need “to
protect the public and the environment from any undesirable risk
hazards on its continued use.”

Manny Calonzo, Co-Coordinator of GAIA said the government should move
fast in ridding the country of the toxic material, saying that
“storing endosulfan, a costly and dangerous task, is the last thing
that our cash-strapped and toxic-ridden nation needs.”


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