Daily News Archive
From January 14, 2002

Increase in U.S. Pesticide Exports

The U.S. exported almost 3.2 billion pounds of pesticide products over the past several years. According to the Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education (FASE), the average rate of almost 2.2 million pounds per day during 1997-2000 is a 15 percent increase over the amount exported during 1992-1996.

Shipments between 1997 and 2000 included nearly 65 million pounds of pesticides that are banned or severely restricted in the United States. While no banned products were recorded during the year 2000, during 1997 and 1999 there were shipments of banned pesticides such as captafol, chlordane, isazofos, monocrotophos and mirex. FASE also found that during the four years examined, 16 tons per day of products that were never registered in the U.S. were exported.

More than half of the pesticide products were sent to developing countries. Over 20 percent were sent to Belgium and Netherlands, with final destinations possibly in developing countries. According to the editor of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health (IJOEH), Joe LaDou, "Pesticide poisoning has long been a problem in developing countries."

Dr. LaDou will fill three volumes of IJOEH with a series of papers on international pesticide use and integrated pest management. "[Public policy experts recognize] [t]here is an urgent need for greater attention to these issues, and increased funding for research into occupational and environmental health effects," added Dr. LaDou.

While this is the most comprehensive source of export information available on public record, FASE emphasized that many details of production and trade information are protected as "confidential business information." Authors of the study recommended the following for decreasing pesticide use: prohibiting the export of banned or unregistered pesticides from the U.S.; empowering the Environmental Protection Agency to fully evaluate the hazards posed by exported pesticides and giving the agency authority to act on its findings; and improving access to information regarding pesticide production, trade and use.

More information about this issue can be found by contacting FASE at (323) 937-7440 or via e-mail at [email protected]. IJOEH issues can be found at www.hanleyandbelfus.com. This information was gathered from the Pesticide Action Network Updates Service.