-In 2001, the UN FAO and World Health Organisation estimated that developing countries spend US$3 billion annually on pesticides. However, one-third of these pesticides did not meet internationally accepted quality standards. Developing countries are used as a dumping ground for hazardous chemicals, many of which are banned throughout much of the rest of the world because of the serious threats they pose to human health and the natural environment. Cambodia is one such country.
-Pesticides are toxic by design. Every year, pesticides are estimated to cause tens of millions of cases of accidental poisoning. Many of these poisoning cases are in the developing world where awareness of the dangers is lacking. Symptoms of pesticide poisoning can range from short-term headaches and nausea to convulsions, unconsciousness or death. Longer-term effects include damage to nervous systems, respiratory and skin diseases, cancers and birth defects. What’s Your Poison? highlights the shocking evidence between pesticides and damage to human health.
–EJF’s work to raise awareness of the human health impact of endosulfan and the publication of End of the Road for Endosulfan led to the Cambodian Government announcing a ban on the import, sale and use of this dangerous pesticide. Find out why endosulfan is so dangerous to human health: [Read EJF’s report End of the Road for Endosulfan]
-Cotton uses nearly 10% of the world’s pesticides, and of this, 25% of the world’s insecticides. The consequences for human health and the environment are well known, particularly in the developing world where pesticides are not subject to stringent regulation and where public awareness of the risks are limited. There has been a slow response from producers, traders and retailers to developing and promoting organic cotton production that can sustain environment and rural communities.