New report reveals shocking reality of paraquat dichloride retailing on India

Press Release | 8th April 2017

This report presents kind of practices being pursued in selling paraquat dichloride, a toxic chemical, in India. Data collected from the State of West Bengal shows that practices are casual and basic, violating Indian national laws as well as the International Code of Conduct on Pesticides Management.

This study has noted a range of issues with regard to the retailing of paraquat dichloride in West Bengal. It ranges from selling products not authorised by the manufacturers, absence of mandatory labelling on certain products, recommendations for the use of paraquat on crops not included in the CIB&RC directive, inadequate information on PPE on the label, PPE not given or sold at the retail points and farmers not advised of its requirement, to decanting and selling in refill or empty bottles and plastic carry bags, without labels or instruction leaflets. Additionally, label information is not provided in the local language and there were wide variations in the cost of various brands, raising concerns about quality. Retail sale of paraquat and related practices noted in West Bengal are in violation of the Indian Insecticides Act and Rules as well as the International Code of Conduct on Pesticides Management. Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee, the Central and State Agriculture Departments, manufacturers and retailers are responsible for enforcement of rules. However, these violations indicate lack of stringent regulation as well as monitoring and gross failure of the current regulatory mechanisms.

Illegal practices illustrated in the report reveal gross failure of the Indian pesticide regulatory system to rein in sellers and buyers. In a scenario of lax regulatory system and totally ignorant users, this report recommends immediate ban on the production, import, sale and use of paraquat dichloride in India, and adoption of non-chemical methods of weed management and agro-ecology.

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