|Pesticide Action Network Updates Service (PANUPS)
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Groups Around the World Mark "No Pesticides Day"
January 10, 2000
On December 3, 1999, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) groups around the world observed "No Pesticides Day" with a host of activities to draw attention to the life-threatening impacts of chemical pesticides on people and the environment. This date was chosen to honor those who died as well as those still suffering as a result of the 1984 disaster in Bhopal, India. (See PANUPS, Bhopal: 15 Years Later, December 3, 1999.)
"The current trends of globalization and the industrialization of agriculture are promoting intensive use of hazardous pesticides. This has increased the suffering of millions of people in rural agriculture and the plantation sector the world over," stated Sarojeni V. Rengam, Executive Director of PAN Asia and the Pacific. While most pesticide-related deaths occur in the global South, pesticides also pose serious problems in industrialized countries. In both rich and poor countries, however, the poor and children suffer disproportionately.
The manufacture, distribution and use of chemical pesticides continues to harm people and the environment in countries throughout the world. Each year approximately three million people are poisoned and 200,000 die from pesticide use. While many of the reported ill effects are acute cases of pesticide poisoning, chronic long-term effects such as cancer and reproductive problems are of increasing concern.
Launch of PAN International Web site
The PAN International Web site was launched on No Pesticides Day. The Web site was developed by PAN North America in collaboration with the other PAN Regional Centers. The site is a comprehensive entry point on the Web to the entire international PAN network. It offers information about PAN and its international work, and links to each Regional Center's Web site. The address is http://www.pan-international.org.
Asia: Throughout December, PAN Asia and the Pacific collaborated with partner groups in the region to observe No Pesticides Day by launching the Asian Safe Food Campaign. This year, the Campaign tackles endocrine disruptors by exposing the threats posed by chemicals--particularly pesticides--that can disrupt the hormone systems of human beings and wildlife. The Campaign was launched in Malaysia, the Philippines, India and Sri Lanka with activities ranging from public health forums and seminars to indigenous and safe food festivals and farmers' gatherings.
Africa: To spread the message of No Pesticides Day, PAN Africa is working to educate decision makers, extension workers, peasant groups, sustainable decision-makers agriculture NGOs and the general public in various African countries about the dangers of pesticide use. Ongoing campaigns will emphasize the hazards that pesticide production units and warehouses represent for surrounding residents.
North America: PAN North America (PANNA) launched a joint project with U.S. farmworker organizations to provide much needed information on the poisons these workers encounter in the fields. In addition, PANNA led a delegation of PAN groups to the December meeting of the Montreal Protocol in Beijing and participated in the ongoing negotiations to phase out the ozone-depleting fumigant methyl bromide.
Latin America: In Latin America, the activism represented by No Pesticides Day is ongoing, according to Luis Gomero, Coordinator of PAN Latin America, based in Peru. In the wake of the death of 24 Peruvian children who drank milk contaminated with parathion, PAN will mobilize to petition regional and national governments to ban the extremely toxic World Health Organization Class 1a and 1b pesticides, which present unacceptable dangers to public health and the environment. In Latin America, PAN is working to take the message of No Pesticides Day to every community and every legislator.
Europe: Representatives from the Pesticides Trust of the U.K. traveled to Bhopal to join in the activities to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of the worst chemical disaster in history.
For more information:
PAN Centre Regional Pour L'Afrique, B.P. 15938 Dakar-Fann, Dakar, Senegal; phone (221) 2 54 914; fax (221) 254 914; email firstname.lastname@example.org
PAN Asia and the Pacific, P.O. Box 1170, 10850 Penang, Malaysia; phone (604) 657 02 71/656 0381; fax (604) 675 7445; email email@example.com
PAN Europe c/o The Pesticides Trust, Eurolink Business Centre, 49 Effra Road, London SW2 1BZ UK; phone (44-171) 274 8895; fax (44-171) 274 9084; mail firstname.lastname@example.org
PAN Latin America c/o Red de Acción en Alternativas al uso de Agroquímicos (RAAA), Mariscal Miller No. 2622, Lince, Lima, Peru; phone (51-1) 421 0826; fax (51-1) 440 4359; email email@example.com
PAN North America (PANNA), 49 Powell St. #500, San Francisco, CA 94102 USA; phone (1-415) 981 1771; fax (1-415) 981 1991; email firstname.lastname@example.org