>Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 10:39:51 -0700 (PDT)
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>May 25, 1998
>Exports of Hazardous Pesticides from U.S. Ports Increases
>Toxic pesticides that are banned or otherwise forbidden in
>the U.S. were shipped from U.S. ports at a rate of more than
>14 tons per day in 1995 and 1996 -- a total of more than 21
>million pounds -- according to a new report by the Foundation
>for Advancements in Science and Education (FASE). The report,
>which is based on U.S. Customs shipping records, documented
>that more than 1.2 billion pounds of pesticide products were
>exported in 1995 and 1996.
>At present, U.S. policy allows the export of banned
>pesticides, as well as "never registered" pesticides --
>pesticides that have never been evaluated by the U.S.
>Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). FASE found that
>approximately 9.4 million pounds of "never-registered"
>pesticides were exported in 1995 and 1996 -- a 40% increase
>since the period from 1992 through 1994. The U.S. also
>exported more than 28 million pounds of pesticides designated
>as "extremely hazardous" by the World Health Organization,
>representing a 500% increase since 1992.
>Many of the pesticides shipped from U.S. ports are destined
>for developing countries. "Workers in developing countries
>often have no idea of the concerns that exist in other
>countries about the pesticides they are using," said Barbara
>Dinham, International Projects Officer at the UK-based
>Pesticides Trust. "Pesticides are applied by farmers who have
>no protective equipment, nor access to medical facilities."
>FASE pointed out there are indications that trade agreements
>are creating pressure for developing countries to increase
>their use of outdated, inexpensive and hazardous products.
>"Because of the liberalization of trade, the influx of
>hazardous pesticides is a very big problem," stated Dr. Grace
>Ohayo-Mitoko, Executive Director of Health and Environment
>Watch, an NGO in Nairobi, Kenya. "Because of trans-shipments,
>we are not able to know exactly where these chemicals are
>coming from. Some of the products that come from the U.S.
>come in through Belgium or other countries."
>The U.S. government does not maintain complete records of
>pesticide shipments, and there are many data gaps. For
>example, between 1992 and 1996, more than two billion pounds
>of pesticides left U.S. ports with their specific chemical
>names omitted from publicly accessible shipping records. "In
>many cases, the description is simply 'pesticide' or 'weed
>killing compound;' in others, trade names or abbreviations
>are used which cannot be found in publicly-accessible
>pesticide dictionaries, reference books or on-line
>databases," according to Carl Smith, Senior Editor of the
>report. "It isn't possible to determine how many of these
>unnamed products are safe under conditions of use in the
>The report recommends changing U.S. policy to eliminate
>double standards of safety. It calls for prohibiting the
>export of banned pesticides from the U.S. and requiring that
>full data on all pesticide shipments be made available
>through a publicly accessible records system. FASE points out
>that these changes would be consistent with existing U.S.
>environmental laws, such as the National Environmental
>Protection Act of 1969, which was created to "prevent or
>eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and
>stimulate the health and welfare of man."
>The entire report, "Exporting Risk: Pesticide Exports from
>U.S. Ports 1995-1996," is available online:
>Source: "Exporting Risk: Pesticide Exports from U.S. Ports
>Contact: Carl Smith, Foundation for Advancements in Science
>and Education, 4801 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 215, Los Angeles,
>CA 90010; phone (213) 937-9911; fax (213) 937-7440; email
>firstname.lastname@example.org; web site: <http://www.fasenet.org/>www.fasenet.org.
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