A Sydney University professor says science does not back a proposed worldwide ban on a controversial pesticide.
A UN environment program committee says endosulfan, which was widely used by the cotton industry, should be added to a global list of 21 highly dangerous and long-lasting chemicals.
Professor of environmental and agricultural chemistry Ivan Kennedy says endosulfan is toxic, but it does degrade.
“If the UN determines it to be a persistent organic pollutant, they’ve made a mistake,” he said.
“I’m a bit flabbergasted, quite frankly.”
But Greenpeace spokesman Adam Walters says the proposed ban is appropriate.
“The widespread pollution of the environment including many distant locations is testamant to its ability to persist,” he said.
The chemical was banned in Australia in October last year, but the regulating authority has given farmers a two-year phase out period for the sale and use of remaining stocks.
Signatories to the Stockholm Convention on Persistant Organic Pollutants will meet in Geneva in the coming week to consider the ban.