GroundTruth Blog

Endosulfan win: One more for network power

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by Kathryn Gilje

web in natureLast week, the nations of the world agreed that the pesticide endosulfan is too toxic for people and the planet to bear. As our staff scientist Karl Tupper reported from Geneva, 173 countries agreed to ban the chemical through the Stockholm Convention, recognizing that innovative farmers across the globe are already growing coffee, cashew, chocolate and cotton without a drop of the deadly pesticide.

Most uses will be gone — around the world — by this time next year. The impact will be profound: children living in India's cashew plantation communities will have fewer birth defects, autism will be less likely in California's Central Valley, and fewer African cotton farmers will suffer deadly poisonings.

A global network that works

This milestone is the fruit of years of organizing with PAN partners around the globe: from Indigenous leaders in the Arctic to grassroots organizers in India; from outspoken health experts in Australia to parents in Florida testing the air for pesticides outside an elementary school.

PAN's global network works, and I'm profoundly humbled to be part of this community.

At PAN, we connect to keep each other energized as we work toward a healthier future

Ever since my first PAN International meeting, hosted by PAN Latin America in Brazil years ago, I've developed deep relationships with people around the world who share a common purpose: build food democracy and sovereignty by ending pesticide reliance, and protect people's health from the undue and often disabling burden of pesticide exposure. I have been amazed by all that we have in common, and this latest victory reminds me again of the power of this aligned and growing network.

New tools to build power

Today, we're formally launching on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, three ways we hope to further enhance our network power. At PAN, we connect to share science-based information, on-the-ground realities and safer solutions. We connect to keep each other energized as we fight for real change and work toward a healthier future. And we connect because this builds democracy.

We've just seen the tremendous power a network has on the global stage; help us strengthen our people-to-people network here at home by sharing the good news. Please join us, if you're inclined toward these tools — and help us connect, deep and wide.

1

Kathryn Gilje wrote:

Hi there -- The 173 countries are the Parties to the international Stockholm Convention, and are listed here: http://chm.pops.int/Countries/StatusofRatifications/tabid/252/language/e.... Brazil is on the list!

2

coimbraj wrote:

Brasilian law makers are now pushing for the approval of a much more permisive land law. It frees greeding farmers and big companies that see the land just for making money and don't think in the future gerations, don't save on nothing, even on our future. They want to make money exporting goods, making the use of pesticides and cultivating the land to the exaustion of its natural sustainability. Several parts of the country are about to became deserts.
Where can I find the list of all the 173 countries that agreed to the ban of endosulfan?
Thanks.

3

donlouis wrote:

The international ban on Endosulfan IS good news. BUT, the United States has never ratified the treaty, so it is not bound to abide by the ban. Will EPA ban its use?

Thanks for your work. I look forward to your answer.

Don Hoernschemeyer

4

Karl Tupper wrote:

Hi Don,

As you correctly point out, the US has not ratified the Convention and therefore is not bound by it. The US EPA had, however, previously announced that it would be phasing out endosulfan. So regardless of the Stockholm Convention, endosulfan use in the US is on the way out. This link has the details of the US phaseout: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/endosulfan/endosulfan-agree... .

Per the EPA's phaseout schedule, most uses end in the summer of 2012, which coincidentally is right around when the Stockholm Convention ban comes into effect. The phaseout plan has exemptions which allow its use to continue on about a dozen more crops for a few more years, but all uses will finally end in 2016. The Stockholm Convention phaseout also has a list of exemptions. Use on these crops can continue through 2017. Some of the US exemptions are the same as Stockholm exemptions, but many are not. So if the US does wish to ratify the Convention, it'll need to modify it's phaseout schedule to bring it in line with the Stockholm schedule.

Note, however, that the US market for endosulfan is small, and it's not produced here--100% of the our endosulfan is imported. The world market is shrinking so fast (due to domestic bans and now the Stockholm ban) that soon it's not going to be worth it for producers to keep it making it. Thus endosulfan use in the US may end even sooner than mandated by the EPA phaseout.

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