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Posted Mon Feb 2 2009: from Reuters:
Asian plantation workers face weedkiller health threat
Malaysian plantation worker Rajam Murugasu became blind in one eye after she slipped and accidentally sprayed the weedkiller paraquat in her face. "It was raining. I fell down and the chemical shot straight into my eye," said Murugasu, a 40-year-old mother of four. "I was in and out of hospital for a whole year," she told Reuters at Teluk Intan town in northwestern Malaysia. Paraquat, a herbicide that protects crop yields by killing weeds that compete for water, nutrients, and light, is banned in the European Union and restricted to licenced users in the United States, New Zealand and parts of Latin America. Yet it is widely used in China, India, the Philippines as well as Malaysia, where the government reversed a ban in 2006 after growers demanded they be allowed to use the cheap herbicide...."It is banned in all of the EU, so why are people in Asia putting up with this? Why such double standards? Are our lives of less value than theirs?"
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Heartless Phil says: "paraquat?... SERiously?... I haven't heard that word since 1979!"

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