Toxic aid

ENVIRONMENTALISTS are concerned that plans by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to provide Cambodia with a US $3.78 million aid package, includes supply of 30 tonnes of insecticides worth US $800,000.

Japan Tropical Forest Action Network, an NGO, reports two of the chemical fertilisers are diazinon and sumicidin, which are "categorised as toxic substances with fairly high levels of acute toxicity". Diazinon is listed in the Handbook of Pesticides Regulation in the United States as having been placed under special review by the US Environmental Protection Agency, which states it should be barred from use "near or in water that will be used for any purpose by humans or livestock."