How come they listed my favourite herbs as dangerous!

12 02 2009

“It is funny that they list chili and ginger as dangerous substances”, my father complained in the evening  when he heard the announcement of the Industry Ministry to list  13 herbal plants as “hazardous substances type 1” under the 1992 Hazardous Substances Act. Not only him who voiced out concern but many other grassroot organisations.

The 13 herbs and plants are neem, lemongrass, turmeric, ginger, Chinese ginger, African marigold, Siam weed or bitter bush, tea seed cake, chilli, Chinese celery, ringworn bush, glory lily and stemona.

The Ministry claims it is a solution for the safety and quality control of pesticides and herbicides since the level of chemicals in hazardous substances produced for mass markets is growing. It requires growers, manufacturers, importers and exporters of pesticide and plant disease control substances to follow safety and quality control regulations, otherwise they will face six months in jail and/or a fine of 50,000 baht. While the Department in charge said we can still buy those 13 herbs as usual, their announcement has raised doubt and uncertainty in people’s mind. It has given impression to the public that those herbs can harm.

Everyone who knows me who would know it well that I am a chili lover. How can I survive without it? My mum always cook chicken giner at home and she seems to use almost all herbs listed as dangerous substances. How come they made such annoucnement ignoring how it would hurt farmers and others organic producers. “It is crazy they told us not to eat those herbs we have known since we were born” said my father. I do not know the true intention of the Ministry, but definitely its annoucenment has created confusion in the mind of the public. It is funny!



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