Agricultural and plantation workers' unions call for paraquat ban in India
On August 5 agricultural and plantation unions from ten states in India joined the "Goodbye Paraquat!" meeting organized by the IUF, developing a national action plan to raise awareness of its risks and to secure a complete ban on its manufacture, sale and use.
In the meeting union leaders and members studied the adverse effects of paraquat on human health and the environment, with a particular focus on situations where workers and their families live on or near plantations. The meeting noted that paraquat is commonly sold without proper labeling, often in plastic bags. As a result workers and farmers are not even aware of what chemical they are using.
In its action plan the participating unions formulated strategies to raise awareness about the adverse effects of paraquat for different groups of workers depending on the crop or workplace (estate, plantation or farms) and to promote the appropriate non-chemical alternatives. At policy level the action plan seeks to secure a comprehensive national ban on paraquat.