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Daily News Archive
From May 23, 2001

UN Announces Global Waste Warning

According to the BBC, the United Nations (UN) announced the amount of pesticide waste that seriously endangers people and the environment around the world is five times greater than a previous estimate two years ago. In a new report the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says almost 500,000 tons of old and unused toxic pesticides have been abandoned on sites, compared to estimates of 100,000 tons.

According to FAO, the quantities of obsolete pesticides in Africa and the Middle East are estimated at over 100,000 tonnes, in Asia at over 200,000 tonnes and in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union at more than 200,000 tonnes. The UN reports that most of the world's pesticide waste is in the developing world.

"Leaking pesticides can poison a very large area, making it unfit for crop production," FAO expert Alemayehu Wodageneh told the BBC. Much of it is said to be accumulating in fields, farms and villages, and is poisoning the surrounding areas. According to the report, FAO is still preparing inventories for Latin America.