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UK condemned over 'shocking' export of deadly weedkiller to poorer countries

UK accused of double standards as thousands of tonnes of pesticide not authorised for use in EU are produced in Britain for export to developing world


A highly toxic weedkiller not authorised for use in the EU is being exported to developing countries from a UK factory. Paraquat, a pesticide so lethal that a single sip can be fatal, has caused thousands of accidental deaths and suicides globally, and was outlawed by EU states in 2007. But Swiss pesticide manufacturer Syngenta is exporting thousands of tonnes of the substance to other parts of the world from an industrial plant in Huddersfield.

Since 2015, when a facility in Belgium stopped exporting paraquat, all EU exports of the pesticide have come from Syngenta’s UK base, according to Public Eye. Laurent Gaberell of Public Eye said: “Paraquat causes thousands of poisonings every year in developing countries. The UK bears an enormous responsibility … To subject individuals of other countries to pesticides known to cause major health damage or fatality is a clear human rights violation.”

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