Pesticide doubts

AUSTRALIA’S pesticides regulator has denied claims farm workers are at risk from a chemical banned in more than 60 other countries. The World Wildlife Fund yesterday called for Australia to follow the lead of other nations and ban endosulfan. The United States moved this week to end all uses of the insecticide, with the Environmental Protection Agency accepting it can cause nerve damage and reproductive complications in farm workers and is a hazard to wildlife. Despite widespread international concern, WWF said endosulfan was still used in Australia on cotton, macadamia and other horticultural crops. “Australian farmers have not been adequately informed of the risks associated with endosulfan and other toxic pesticides,” WWF spokesperson Nick Heath said.

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