The Centre has sought the Supreme Court’s permission to use the available stock of banned pesticide endosulfan for agricultural purpose on the ground that incinerating it would cost the exchequer Rs 210 crore. The agriculture ministry also referred to a report of the Combined Expert Committee on Endosulfan, constituted on the apex court‘s direction, to say that 18 other states, other than Kerala and Karnataka, favored use of the banned pesticide as it was cheap. Labelling and limiting the endosulfan issue as a regional problem and the Central Government’s decision to give a clean chit to endosulfan is a violation of people’s right to live.
This new plea by the government is completely biased toward manufacturers. This will pave way for the production and sale of the deadly pesticide once again The affidavit says Endosulphan pesticide was “safe to pollinators without any ill-effects on human beings, animals and environment”, are you joking ? The Stockholm Convention, a global treaty to protect health and environment has also declared Endosulfan as a persistent pollutant It is a .highly toxic pesticide that accumulates in the food chain and in humans, travels long distances, and breaks down very slowly in the environment.Last year, India joined the list of 73 countries that have banned the use of this pesticide. The use of Endosulfan in Kerala has brought only misery to people living in Kasaragod and some districts of Karnataka. Nearly 500 people lost their lives due to excess use of the pesticide in cashew plantations in Kasaragod. The Centre should look into these aspects before allowing its usage once again,It is time that the government recognizes the need to make efforts towards moving to non-chemical alternatives of Endosulfan.
1.The government should immediately withdrawsthe affidavit in the Supreme court and should not allow its production as the Stockholm convention, a global treaty , India is also a party , to protect health and environment, had declared endosulfan as a persistent pollutant.
2.Destroy the available stock of endosulfan using non-combustible technology that will not pollute the environment. The higher cost for using such technology should not be seen as a hindrance as there is a larger social and environmental cost involved here .
3.Ensure compensation and rehabilitation for the survivors in Kerala and Karnataka
4.Withdraw Endosulphan completely., as per the Stockholm convention
- ‘Allow use of endosulfan except in Kerala and Karnataka’ (thehindu.com)
- Environmentalists cry foul (thehindu.com)
- Satyamev Jayate 8th episode video, reviews and reactions – “Toxic Food – Poison On Our Plate?” (idubba.com)
- A Hard Look at Pesticides: Toxic Profits (VIDEO) (civileats.com)