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, and it continues to pose a deadly threat to farmers and food producers across the globe.
Write to the UK Goverenment today and ask them to end this deadly display of double standards and put and end to the export and import of toxic pesticides.