From a press release by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources:
With 45 votes in favor, members of the FMLN, Unidos por El salvador and GANA approved the amendment of a Law on the control of pesticides, fertilizers and products for agricultural use, which allows the prohibition of 53 chemicals in El Salvador.
Among the list of the 53 chemicals are Paraquat, Glyphosate and Endosulfan, which caused controversy among right-wing deputies. Deputy Mario Ponce, of the Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA) party, opposed these substances being on the list, however, he did not have the support of other MPs.
Nery Diaz, deputy of the Frente Farabundo Martí party (FMLN) defended the opinion on the grounds that paraquat is related to an increase in renal diseases.
More on this topic
The Legislature will not accept Presidential comments on Act 53 which prohibits the use of agrochemicals, and will only increase the timeframe for their withdrawal.
The Committee on the Environment and Climate Change in Congress has set a deadline of one year for a ban on the sale of the pesticide "Paraquat" and two years for other products.
The regulation increases the size of the "aguinaldo" (extra salary at the end of the year), depending on the number of worked years.
Those who have been working in a company for between 1 and 3 years will receive 15 days worth of 'aguinaldo' (end of year salary payment), those with between 3 and 10 years will receive 19 days worth of aguinaldo, and those who have worked for more than 10 years, will receive 21 days worth of aguinaldo.
Salvadoran coffee growers have asked for a review of the rule stating that there arent any alternative measures which provide the same levels of efficiency and coverage.
According to the president of the Association of Coffee Producers (ABECAFE), Carlos Borgonovo, the congressional initiative threatens the quality and quantity of the grain harvest.
Businessmen from the Salvadoran agricultural sector remarked that the measure could cause a 60% drop in production.
The warning came from the international organization CropLife, which is a member of the Agricultural Suppliers Association (APA) of El Salvador. "The FAO has said that without the use of pesticides, you run the risk of losing between 40% and 60% of the harvest, and this not only true in El Salvador, but around the world," said Martin Zuniga, CropLife regional director for Central America and the Caribbean.