Thursday, August 26, 2010

P-Noy asked to fast track removal of endosulfan out of RP

As the momentum for a global ban on
endosulfan continues, concerned groups reminded President Benigno
"P-Noy" Aquino III to act fast in removing a stockpile of this highly
hazardous pesticide in Bulacan before it turns into a toxic challenge.

The EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
(GAIA) and Pesticide Action Network (PAN) urged P-Noy to push for the
shipment out of the country of some 10 metric tons of endosulfan that
have been sitting in a private warehouse in Meycauyan, Bulacan.

As confirmed by the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) to the groups,
the hazardous materials are being stored in the facility of Vertical
Fertilizer Chemical Corporation in the said municipality.

It will be recalled that the tons of endosulfan imported by Del Monte
Philippines were salvaged in October 2008 from the ill-fated MV
Princess of the Stars owned by Sulpicio Lines, which sank in the
waters off Sibuyan Island in June 2008.

“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, PAN-Philippines.

“We could not afford to move at a snail’s pace,” stated Manny Calonzo,
Co-Coordinator of GAIA, adding that “storing endosulfan, a costly and
dangerous task, is the last thing that our cash-strapped and
toxic-ridden nation needs.”

“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,” said
Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition

Canada and the US recently joined a growing list of countries, now
numbering 69, that has taken action to ban endosulfan, a chemical
being targeted for a global ban under the Stockholm Convention on
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Canada recently withdrew
support for the use of endosulfan, citing the concern for workers’
safety, the risk posed to non-target organisms and persistence of
endosulfan in the environment and the potential for bioaccumulation.

The US Environmental Protection Agency last June decided to end all
uses of endosulfan after assessing that endosulfan “can pose
unacceptable neurological and reproductive risks to farmworkers and
wildlife and can persist in the environment.”

The DENR in February 2009 temporarily banned the importation,
distribution and use of endosulfan in the country, stressing the need
“to protect the public and the environment from any undesirable risk
hazards on its continued use.”

Exposure to endosulfan, according to numerous studies, can cause
severe and debilitating physical deformities, reproductive health
problems, renal failure, and in some cases has been fatal.


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