U.N. suggests pesticides, chemicals for watch list

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 01, 2011 10:09 AM

MILAN (Reuters) - The United Nations has suggested three pesticides and three industrial chemicals be put on a trade "watch list" because they can threaten human health and the environment, the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization said on Friday.

U.N. chemical experts have proposed that pesticides endosulfan and azinphos methyl and the hazardous pesticide formulation Gramoxone Super be added to the Rotterdam Convention's Prior Informed Consent procedure, the FAO said.

The UN-backed Convention prevents unwanted trade in chemicals included in the legally binding procedure. It does not introduce bans, but helps its members make informed decisions on trade in hazardous chemicals.

The FAO said chemical experts had recommended that three industrial chemicals also be added to the list -- perfluorooctane sulfonate, its salts and precursors; pentaBDE commercial mixtures; and octaBDE commercial mixtures.

It said they based their recommendation on regulatory actions taken by the European Union, Japan, Canada and other countries to ban or restrict the use of chemicals that pose an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment.

For example, Burkina Faso has proposed putting Gramoxone Super, a herbicide widely used to control weeds in cotton, rice and maize, on the list after its use in the country had caused problems, the FAO said.

The Rotterdam Convention is due to meet in June.

(Reporting by Svetlana Kovalyova; editing by Jason Neely)