September 17, 2003, just-food.com: In Thailand villagers living
near tangerine orchards have experienced bouts of dizziness,
rashes and breathing difficulties. The mysterious symptoms
are believed to be caused by toxic chemical fumes and
pesticide run-off in ground water.
In response to the complaints and new evidence that
shows high levels of chemical residues in the fruit,
the Thai government has introduced rules to reduce the
use of pesticides and other chemicals.
The new measures are being implemented on the direct
orders of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and cover
13 pesticides on a so-called watch list of dangerous
chemicals, as well as paraquat, which is known to be
toxic and banned in a number of European countries,
and carbofuran, which is widely used by rice farmers.
While 82 pesticides have been banned in Thailand since
1977, some 300 pesticides are still permitted, 200 more
than in many countries.