Court Halts Listing of Herbs as Hazardous

A reprieve for some farmers in Thailand after the court stops the Industry Ministry from putting more than a dozen herbs on a hazard list.

The ministry was about to list 13 widely used herbal plants as “hazardous substances type 1” under the Hazardous Substances Act. Some say this was being done in an effort to control their commercialization.

The list includes chilli, lemon grass, turmeric, ginger and neem, which some farmers use as pesticides.

An academician named Somkid Homnet had filed a lawsuit against the Minister of Industry Charnchai Chairungrueng saying it violated farmers’ rights to use plant-based pesticides.

Now the Central Administrative Court has issued a temporary injunction stopping the announcement from being made.

In February the Industry Ministry came under fire for removing highly toxic chemicals and radioactive material from the hazardous substances list, including natural gas, copper sulphate, sulphur and cobalt-60, which is a radioactive isotope.

The Nation

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