Did you take your poison today?

Your poison cover

The report "Did you take your poison today?" discusses pesticides related problems in Thailand. It can be downloaded as a file in PDF format, but the same content can also be viewed as web pages via the links below.

Note: This document was written in Thailand in 2003, so some of the information, such as pesticides mentioned in the report, may be out of date.

Contents

  1. Pesticides on the map
  2. Did you take your poison today?
  3. But Thailand is the ‘Kitchen of the World’, right?
  4. So what type of poison is there in our food?
  5. What are pesticides?
  6. Why should we be worried?
  7. Pesticides only affect farmers, right?
  8. What types of pesticide are used in Thailand?
  9. Where do these chemicals come from?
  10. Are those factories safe?
  11. So why are farmers using these chemicals?
  12. How dangerous are these chemicals to humans?
  13. How does a person know if they have been poisoned?
  14. Do these pesticides stay in the body?
  15. Are there any long-term effects from pesticides?
  16. Can these chemicals actually kill somebody?
  17. How many people are poisoned by pesticides in Thailand?
  18. Under what kind of circumstances can somebody get killed?
  19. Never mind the farmers, what about my food?
  20. What do you mean by “acceptable level”?
  21. Who is testing our food for residues?
  22. What can consumers do to avoid pesticide residues?
  23. Is it realistic to expect housewives to take action on this issue?
  24. What does ‘organic’ mean?
  25. How is ‘organic’ food different from ‘safe’ food?
  26. What about all these other labels?
  27. I’m confused. Are labelled foods safer than other foods?
  28. If I want healthy food, can the supermarkets provide it?
  29. Are my children at risk?
  30. What can I do to protect my children?
  31. What can schools do to protect children from pesticides?
  32. What about restaurants; are they using safe food or not?
  33. Why doesn’t the Government just ban these chemicals?
  34. Are any Thai farmers growing crops without pesticides?
  35. What is Integrated Pest Management?
  36. Is anybody helping organic farmers in Thailand?
  37. Are pesticides doing any harm to the environment?
  38. Is there a Buddhist opinion about pesticides?
  39. Is anybody putting these Buddhist ideas into practice?
  40. Do we have laws to deal with this problem?
  41. Who in the Government is responsible for food safety?
  42. What is the Ministry of Public Health actually doing?
  43. What about the Ministry of Agriculture?
  44. Are the Royal Projects involved in solving this problem?
  45. When will all our food be safe?
  46. Where can I get more information about pesticides and food safety?
  47. Further reading

Acknowledgements

This report was written, edited, designed and produced by the IPM DANIDA project (Andrew Bartlett, Hein Bijlmakers).

We wish to thank the following persons who assisted in various ways by collecting information, conducting interviews, translating texts, and providing critical reviews of draft texts: Chalerm Sindhusake, Lakchai Meenakanit, Marut Jatiket, Krisanapong Kraithepi, Sakda Sinives, Kevin Kamp, Steffen Johnsen, Boonrawd Thongdongphum, Sirisap Taopathom, Sompong Kaewchantuek, Sumittra Gardella, and Natwadee Khattkhuan.

We are also grateful to all persons who were interviewed and gave their valuable opinions on the subject of pesticides in Thailand:
Nong Ampin, Bang-ern Prakhiew, Saweay Termtor, Wittaya Hansuwan, Ploypailin, Wilawan Suwalam, Khlayabsorn Phongpian, Samrit Intaram, Khaelada Jittapanya, Karaket Soraphipat, Santisuk Wisuthisen, Manit Boonkiaw, Witoon Panyakul, Manus Khantithammo, Pakdee Pothisiri, Ampon Kittiampon, Juntip Tumrongsiskul, Sukhum Wong-Ek, and Suppalak Sooksom.

In thanking these individuals, we don’t imply that they or their organizations fully endorse the contents of this report.

December 2003

Abbreviations and Acronyms used in this report

DANIDA = Danish International Development Assistance
DOA = Department of Agriculture
DOAE = Department of Agricultural Extension
FAO = Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FFS = Farmer Field School
GTZ = Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit
IPM = Integrated Pest Management
MOAC = Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives
MOPH = Ministry of Public Health
RPF = Royal Project Foundation
WHO = World Health Organization

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