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Thousands Call on EPA to Take Action Now on Dangerous Pesticide
Endosulfan Moves Closer to International Ban
SAN FRANCISCO - October 21 - Pesticide Action Network, in coalition with Earthjustice and United Farm Workers, this week delivered more than 25,000 individual signatures to EPA calling for the dangerous and antiquated pesticide endosulfan to be removed from our food supply. Twenty-four organizations joined in supporting the call.
EPA is currently considering action on endosulfan in response to a legal petition and growing pressure from environmental health and farmworker advocacy groups around the country.
Last week in Geneva, Switzerland, an international scientific committee agreed that endosulfan should be considered for addition to the list of chemicals banned globally under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. The vote to move forward with endosulfan was unanimous, with India and China abstaining after trying unsuccessfully to stall the process. The production and use of endosulfan remains high in these countries, and India's state-owned Hindustan Insecticides Limited is a major producer of the chemical. Consideration of the chemical is expected to be a two-year scientific review process, with a final decision by government representatives in 2011.
Next week in Rome, governments will consider the addition of endosulfan to another international treaty, the Rotterdam Convention, which requires government-to-government notification when dangerous pesticides and other chemicals cross international borders.
"Momentum is building for a global phaseout of this dangerous chemical," says Karl Tupper of Pesticide Action Network North America. "This is good news for farmers, workers and children worldwide who suffer the health effects of endosulfan. Indigenous Peoples of the Artic will also benefit from a ban, as endosulfan accumulates in the Arctic environment and contaminates local food supplies."