Thailand Introduces Rules to Limit Pesticides

In an effort to become a major international food exporter, Thailand has introduced rules that would dramatically reduce the use of pesticides and other chemicals in agriculture. The proposed rules come on the heels of reports that villagers living near tangerine orchards were suffering from dizziness, rashes, and respiratory problems attributed to toxic fumes and chemical traces in groundwater from pesticides. Not that tangerine orchards are the only problem: Since 1977, Thailand has banned 82 pesticides, but 300 others are still in use — some 200 more than are permitted in, say, Bangladesh. Now, the country plans to whittle away at that list in order to bring its food standards in line with those of the European Union, Japan, and China.