10 September 1998
Nations meet on chemicals ban

ALMOST 100 countries are meeting in Rotterdam to sign an international treaty that will ban the import of hazardous chemicals unless agreed by the importing country.

The United Nations convention on hazardous chemicals and pesticides will make mandatory the existing voluntary procedure of Prior Informed Consent. The sponsors say it will protect millions of farmers, workers and consumers in developing countries.

The treaty sets up trade controls and information exchange procedures that will enable Governments to prohibit imports of chemicals. It will also require exporting companies to provide extensive information on the chemicals potential health and environmental dangers.

There are 22 pesticides covered by the treaty including aldrin, DDT and lindane, and five industrial chemicals. Other chemicals are likely to be added.

  • Financial Times 10/09/98 page 4 (News Digest)