To mark Workers Memorial Day, the IUF has produced with Pesticides Action Network (PAN) and the Swiss-based NGO, Berne Declaration, a report on the use of paraquat in India. While this highly toxic pesticide is banned in Europe, it continues to be widely used on many crops and in many parts of the world. The report confirms that paraquat is used under high-risk conditions and that users don’t have the information or the means to protect themselves from exposure. As a result, users suffer from headaches, vomiting, breathing difficulty, muscle pain and abdominal discomfort. Chronic exposure can lead to lung, brain or skin damage.
The Indian government has previously blocked attempts to get paraquat listed under the Rotterdam Convention which allows governments much more control over importation of pesticides. The IUF will lobby with PAN and the Berne Declaration to get paraquat listed when the Rotterdam Convention list is updated in May.
Conditions of Paraquat Use in India, will also be distributed in Basel at an event to highlight the actions of the Swiss-based chemical company, Syngenta which continues to manufacture and promote paraquat.