Our Work

 In 2019 member organisations of UnPoison commenced our advocacy work with a legal submission to government requesting agrichemical policy reform. Our body of work is growing as the need for civil society to protect and defend our constitutional rights becomes evermore essential.

Legal Submissions by UnPoison Members

Chemical Remedies Submission on Law Reform – 2019

By The Real Thing , Food Supplement Company

The current agrichemical policy systematically violates the constitutional and human rights of South Africa and reform is needed.

The current legal framework is outdated, fragmented, and ineffective. It results in a systematic violation of fundamental human rights protected by the Constitution, especially the rights to dignity, life, health, and the right to an environment that is not harmful to health and well-being. Everyone is affected because chemical remedies are used in all public spaces, recreational facilities, in homes and gardens, and – most widely – in agriculture.

In 2019 The Real Thing Food Supplement Company submitted the Chemical Remedies Submission and the Chemical Remedies Report  above to the president of South Africa and eight government ministers detailing the problems with the legislation, requesting law reform commense, and suggesting a way forward.

Comment on Regulations Relating to Draft Agrichemical Policy – 2021

By UnPoison

The Department of Agriculture (DALRRD) called for comment on the draft regulations of Act 36. UnPoison holds a position that these are unconstitutional and should not be passed.

The regulations as they are do not comply with section 24 of the Constitution, NEMA and the Pesticide Management Act of 2010 and will perpetuate a system of governance of agricultural chemicals that poses a significant threat to public health, particularly vulnerable persons, and the environment. The comment linked above details the deficiencies in the current regulations, how the they reduce the effecacy of the registrar to do his job, and how ineffective current measures are to protect and inform those at risk.

Law Reform Commision Repeal of Apartheid Laws: Unpoison Submission on Act 36 of 1947 – 2021

By Prof. Leslie London on behalf of UnPoison

Answering a call from The Department of Justice seeking to repeal Apartheid and Colonial legislation, UnPoison's submission below highlights how black farm workers and those living in rural areas continue to suffer injustices and human rights violations as a result of Act 36 of 1947 remaining in effect.

Concerns contained in the submission highlight the fact that the Fertilizers, Farm Feeds and Agricultural Remedies Act, 1947 (Act No. 36 of 1947) promoted apartheid and colonialism by exclusively promoting the interests of the racist colonial, state and in particular the farming sector, at the expense of workers and impoverished black people in rural areas. It continues to do 74 years later. It perpetuates the apartheid legacy and must be completely overhauled and brought in line with our Bill of Rights.

Reports by UnPoison Members

Pesticide Spray Drift in South Africa – Dec 2020

By Sasha Mentz-Lagrange & James Dabrowski

This report highlights the need legislation that enforces buffer zones and other reasonable measures to protect our people and environment.
This important paper discusses pesticide drift contamination issues in South Africa and motivates the urgent need to revise the legislation framework regulating agro-chemical usage. It also calls for:
  • minimising or prohibiting pesticide use in specific areas,
  • mandating buffer zones to protect non-target rural communities,
  • the establishment of a “transition fund” to support farmers transition.

Published by two of our member organisations, the South African Organic Sector Organisation (SAOSO) and GMO-Poison Free Zones,  co-funded by the European Union through Action 24.