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About us

Mission and vision

Our mission is to substantially reduce the number of pesticide suicides occurring worldwide, saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

We aim to achieve this by working in low and middle-income countries, identifying pesticides that are toxic to humans and reducing their use through regulation. We work closely with national pesticide regulators and United Nations organisations such as the WHO and FAO.

Our vision is a world with significantly fewer suicides from pesticide poisoning. The removal of highly toxic pesticides from agriculture will also bring benefits to the environment and public health.

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The Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention - who we are, what we do
Michael Eddleston with researchers in Sri Lanka

Who we are

The Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention has grown out of the work of Professor Michael Eddleston. Michael has worked on pesticide suicides for more than twenty years, particularly in Sri Lanka.

Michael’s work in Sri Lanka showed that government action to reduce the availability of lethal pesticides dramatically reduced pesticide suicides. It became clear to him that regulation was by far the most effective means of preventing deaths from pesticide poisoning. He saw a need for an organisation that focused on identifying problematic pesticides and encouraging effective pesticide regulation globally.

The Centre was launched in 2017 with support from an Incubator Grant of the Open Philanthropy Project Fund, on the recommendation of GiveWell, USA.

What we do

We work in countries where pesticide self-poisoning is a recognised and significant health problem.

Working in partnership with national policy-makers, we collect data on pesticide poisonings and deaths, identifying the products responsible. This information is passed on to regulators, helping them to implement reforms aimed at phasing out dangerous pesticides.

We also measure the impact of pesticide bans on both health and agriculture. We examine how successful the bans have been in saving lives and whether food production has been affected.

University of Edinburgh Old College building

Governance

The Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention is a philanthropically funded research and policy initiative within the University of Edinburgh. 

We are supervised by the research committee of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. We do not have a separate board from the University Board of Directors, but do have a Scientific Advisory Board that is convened on a case by case basis. 

The centre adheres to the University’s values, procedures, and governance structure and its conflict of interest policy. The Ethical Fundraising Advisory Group of the University of Edinburgh is responsible for ensuring that all donations come from ethical sources.