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Several hundred tons of obsolete pesticide stocks worldwide will pose a threat to humans and the environment until the year 2030 in some regions, unless funding for waste disposal is significantly increased, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a message directed to donor governments and industry on May 24.

“Deadly chemicals are contaminating the soils, groundwater, irrigation, and drinking water,” said Amemayehu Wodageneh, senior expert on obsolete pesticides for FAO. “These ‘forgotten’ stocks are a serious risk, [and] they could cause an environmental tragedy in rural areas and big cities. There is hardly any developing country that is not affected by the hazards of obsolete pesticides.”