Thursday, October 20, 2011

Banning Paraquat Raises Dispute in China

According to the information from the 4th China High-Level Forum on Pesticides held on Sept. 23 to 24, 2011, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) will take measures to further restrict and forbid the use of paraquat and some other highly toxic pesticides in the near future, based on CCM’s latest issue of Crop Protection China News.

Though it is not a piece of new information in China, it is the first time for Chinese government to officially announce the restriction and forbidding of the use of paraquat.

As people are shocked by the official statement, dispute is raised in and out of domestic pesticide industry. As a non-selective herbicide, paraquat is largely used to control weeds in the fields of fruit, mulberry, rubber, corn, sugarcane, soybean, etc. Although it is featured by high efficient and low price, it is also famous for its high toxicity to human beings and animals. Once being poisoned, especially by oral intake, it is incurable.

Eyeing more than 5,000 people die annually from the poisoning caused by paraquat, many medical workers propose legislating against the use of paraquat in the National People's Congress. As more and more foreign countries have added paraquat into their ban lists, the voice of forbidding the use of paraquat in China has been even louder in the past two years.

However, most of domestic pesticide enterprises and dealers hold different opinions over the forbidding use of paraquat.

With years' development, China has become the largest paraquat producer in the world with the production capacity of paraquat TK reaching 152,500t/a in 2010. The total output of paraquat 42% TK reached 122,000 tonnes in 2010 with the operating rate of 80.0%, compared with 72.4% in the previous year.

As of April 2011, 553 paraquat registration applications from 272 enterprises, both temporary and formal, have been approved in China, including 63 for technical, 483 for single formulations and seven for mixed formulations.

Thus, once paraquat is forbidden, these pesticide players will suffer greatly. As a matter of fact, they will fight to delay the release and implementation of the policy to ban the use of paraquat.

"Domestic apparent consumption of paraquat formulations was 31,256 tonnes (calculated by 200g/L AS) in 2010. And obviously it is hard to find a substitute to replace it. Once it is forbidden, pesticide market will be affected greatly. Actually, it will do little harm to the environment and health of human being if the herbicide is used safely," said Mr. Yu, a district manager from Shandong Luba Chemical Co., Ltd. "Actually, there is a better way to decrease the happening of paraquat poisoning, which is to change the dominant formulation of paraquat AS into DP or ointment."

However, some insiders believe that the announcement from the 4th China High-Level Forum on Pesticides is just a statement of Chinese government to declare its attitude towards highly toxic pesticides. Banning paraquat or not is still can't be nailed down and the implementation of the policy is still beyond expectation. If government carries out the policy, the worst condition of paraquat in the near future is that the use on several fruit or crops may be forced to be banned. The all-out ban on the product in China may still have a long way to go.
Source: Crop Protection China News 1119
(Guangzhou China, October 18, 2011)

Content of Crop Protection China News 1119:
Banning paraquat raises dispute in China
Rising pesticide resistance bothers domestic pesticide industry
Heavy metal seriously pollute domestic farmland
Jiangsu Huifeng to expand in fluorine industry
Hubei Sanonda predicts good performance in Q3
Syngenta extends collaboration with SIOC, CAS
Glyphosate price rises but profit stays
China's mancozeb industry faces severe challenges

Crop Protection China News, a semimonthly publication issued by CCM International on 15th and 30th(31st) of every month, aims to gain a deep insight into Chinese market, supply the latest market data and strategy support, analyze the newest legislation and policy and grasp the future market trend.

CCM International Ltd.
Guangzhou CCM Information Science & Technology Co., Ltd.
17th Floor, Huihua Commercial & Trade Mansion, No.80 Xianlie Zhong Road, Guangzhou 510070, China

No comments: