China phasing out more and more pesticides

China plans to ban another 12 highly toxic pesticides within five years, State media reported recently. According to the South China Morning Post, this is part of a government program to improve the safety of its farm produce.

This all comes amid an ongoing campaign to improve the environment and, in particular, tackle severe soil pollution. Beijing has already withdrawn 22 highly toxic pesticides from use, prohibiting the use of these products on fruit, vegetables and tea.

But a number of highly toxic chemicals remained in use. And China certainly wants zero growth in the use of polluting chemical fertilisers by 2020; the ministry has already issued a notice banning the highly toxic substances endosulfan and methyl bromide by 2019. A call went out for more R&D to produce highly effective alternatives with low toxicity.

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