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Sri Lanka: Restrictions Placed on Sale of Herbicide

(Mar. 28, 2012) Sri Lanka's Ministry of Health has announced it will impose strict regulation on the sale of Paracot, a widely used brand of the herbicide paraquat. The restrictions were first tried as a pilot project in Nuwara Eliya district, in the central highlands of the country, where a large part of Sri Lanka's vegetable crop is grown. Under the new rule, buyers of the herbicide will have to show their national identity cards and indicate why the Paracot is needed before they will be allowed to complete the purchase. Paracot can be toxic when used incorrectly. (Sri Lanka Imposes Strict Conditions for the Sale of Herbicide Paracot, COLOMBO TIMES (Mar. 26, 2012).)

Treating people with health problems from the use of Paracot has been costly for the Ministry of Health. The product is also used by people seeking to commit suicide as it is inexpensive and widely available. (Id.)