• Indian government urged to push through with total ban of 27 pesticides

    Indian government urged to push through with total ban of 27 pesticides Press Release | 27th June 2020 Photo: Dileep Kumar, PAN IndiaWhile appreciating the effort of Indian government to ban 27 pesticides, PAN feels that the recent developments show that the ban is in the process of being watered down, or worse, withdrawn completely with no other reason other than the profit motive of the chemical industry.  Allowing the manufacture and export of these pesticides reinforces “double standards” in pesticides trade, wherein countries are allowed to export pesticides that are already banned in their home countries. It’s a dirty practice that India, as a responsible member of the global community, must not replicate, keeping in mind global environmental health and well-being. Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Asia Pacific and PAN India strongly urges the Indian government to push through with its initial recommendation of a total ban on 27 toxic pesticides and prioritise people’s health and the environment over chemical industry profits. The two advocacy groups issued this joint statement after the Indian Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, responding to industry groups, amended an 18thMay draft order for a total ban on 27 pesticides. In the 10thJune revised order, government will now allow the manufacture of these pesticides for export purposes. It also extended the period for comments by stakeholders from 45 to 90 days, with an official even quoted in a news report as saying that the government may review the ban “if industry furnishes documents proving that these chemicals are safe for environment.” “We laud the Indian government for taking this much-awaited decisive step to ban these 27 pesticides, many of which are already banned in other countries. However, recent developments show that the ban is in the process of being watered down, or worse, withdrawn completely with no other reason other than the profit motive of the chemical industry. If allowed to happen, it will put to waste many years of independent study by its own expert panel and derail ongoing efforts to promote safer alternatives—something that should actually be a priority given the current health crisis,” said Sarojeni Rengam, PANAP executive director. Rengam stressed that allowing the manufacture and export of these pesticides reinforces “double standards” in pesticides trade, wherein countries are allowed to export pesticides that are already banned in their home countries. “Developed countries have been allowed to manufacture and export pesticides that they have already banned, revealing an unjust double standard that keeps the cycle of poison going. It’s a dirty practice that India, as a responsible member of the global community, must not replicate, keeping in mind global environmental health and well-being,” she said. The group noted that Indian pesticide exports go to countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka where PANAP have also monitored high cases of pesticide poisoning. Twenty two of the 27 pesticides are part of PAN International’s list of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs), or pesticides with proven high acute toxicity, long-term health effects, and hazards to ecosystems. The ministry’s ban order itself states that these pesticides are carcinogenic, neurotoxic, disruptive to the hormonal system, and linked to reproductive and developmental disorders. They are also highly toxic to bees, aquatic organisms and birds. PAN India pointed out that some of these pesticides are already covered by state-level bans. “Two of these pesticides (monocrotophos, acephate) are already banned in the state of Maharashtra after being implicated in the high incidence of poisoning in cotton farming communities. The Punjab state government did not issue fresh licenses to five of the 27 pesticides (2,4-D, benfuracarb, dicofol, methomyl, monocrotophos) due to their harmful effects. In Kerala, some of these pesticides (monocrotophos, carbofuran, atrazine) have been banned since 2011 due to public health concerns. Evidence on the ground is clear: our farmers should no longer be using these pesticides,” said Dileep Kumar, PAN India assistant director. Additionally, 6 of the 27 pesticides (atrazine, carbofuran, chlorpyrifos, malathion, mancozeb, monocrotophos) are on PANAP’s list of Twenty Pesticides that are Toxic to Children, whose effects include birth defects, brain damage and reduced IQs. Monocrotophos, in particular, is responsible for the Bihar tragedy in 2013, wherein 23 schoolchildren died after eating food contaminated by the pesticide. Analysis by PAN India shows that there are currently 282 pesticides registered for use in India. “These 27 pesticides forms less than 10 percent of all registered pesticides. Hence, banning them would not impact food security and agriculture production, and even the assessment of the government found that alternatives are available to all of them. Several pesticides are also usually used for a single crop pest combination, so banning some of them would not affect crop health management but would definitely contribute to reducing the toxic burden of communities as well as Indian consumers,” Kumar added. Jayakumar Chelaton, PAN India director, added that many of the pesticides proposed for ban are implicated in both occupational and self-poisonings in India. “Banning these pesticides is expected to bring down poisoning incidences and ensure a safer working farm environment in the country. PAN India is happy to support the government in eliminating toxic pesticides and assist in replacing these with agroecological farming practices.” PAN India urges the Ministry of Agriculture to review all the remaining pesticides that are registered for use in the country with the same criteria used for assessing the 27 pesticides, and come up with stringent actions for protecting human health and the environment. It also calls on the government to amend the proposed Pest Management Bill 2020, as the current version has several deficiencies concerning pesticides registration, protection of workers and end users, and business and promotion practices. “The international community is vigilantly watching to see whether the Indian government will uphold public interest or cave in to industry pressure with the 27 pesticides ban. We have high hopes that it will stand by the findings of its expert panel and that it will base its final decision on independent, global, and scientific evidence and concrete experiences of farmers, not the self-serving and profit-motivated statements by the chemical industry,” said Dr. Narasimha Reddy, PAN India consultant. The time period for commenting on the draft order has got extended to 90 days,  until mid August.  Any comments and or suggestion in respect to the said draft Order may be forwarded to the Joint Secretary (Plant Protection), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi-110 001. Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is a network of over 600 participating non-governmental organizations, institutions and individuals in over 90 countries working to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. PAN Asia Pacific (PANAP) is a PAN regional center based in Penang, Malaysia. PAN India is a national non-profit organisation based in Kerala, India. For reference: PAN Asia Pacific- Ms. Sarojeni Rengam, executive director: sarojeni.rengam@panap.net PAN India- A. D. Dileep Kumar, Ph. 09447340748; Dr. Narasimha Reddy Donthi, Ph. 09010205742; Jayakumar Chelaton Ph. 09447016587 Recent Posts Pesticide Watch NGO releases report ‘State of Glyphosate Use in India’ State of Glyphosate Use in India Webinar on Elimination of the Uncultivated Greens: Glyphosate Usage in India PR_ Marathi_यवतमाळ विषबाधा: सिंजेंटाचे कीटकनाशक जास्त प्रमाणात गुंतलेले आहे. PR Hindi यवतमाळ विषाक्तता: सिंजेंटा के कीटनाशक अधिकतम शामिल हैं TagsAgroecology AnupamVarma Commitee Report Banned Pesticides BAN Pesticides BRS COPs 2017 Climate Change Community Suffering Corporate Accountability Corporate Libility Delhi gas leack Draft Banning of Pesticides Order 2016 Fact Finding Mission Food Sovereignty Glyphosate Glyphosate ban Herbicide HHP HHPs Highly Hazardous Pesticides Indian Tea India Pesticide Ban India Pesticide Risk Inhalational Poisonings Maharashtra Association of Pesticide Poisonned Persons MAPPP Non-chemical Alternatives No pesticide Use Day Paraquat Paraquat Retailing India Paraquat Use is India Pesticide Management Bill-2017 Pesticide Menace in Yavatma Pesticide Poisoning Pesticide Poisoning in Yavatmal Pesticide Regulation Phasing out HHPs Plantation Pesticide PMB-2017 Roundup Tea Plantations UN HRC Special Rapporteur on the right to food World Soil Day Yavatmal Yavatmal Declaration Yavatmal poisoning


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  • PAN India welcomes Pesticide ban order; demands extension to include all 66 banned/restricted elsewhere

    The decision to ban 18 pesticides in India brings hope, but it should be extended to include all the pesticides banned/restricted elsewhere and still used in India Press Release | 10th January 2017 Pesticide Action Network (PAN) India welcomes the decision by Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, to ban manufacture, import, formulate, transport, sell and use of 18 of the 66 pesticides which are still registered for domestic use in India but banned or restricted in one or more other countries due to health and environmental concern. The decision to ban the 18 pesticides came following the ban recommendation given in the report submitted by the expert review committee constituted under the chairmanship of Dr. Anupam Varma and by considering the observation from Registration committee of the Central Insecticide board and Registration committee. The Anupam Varma committee was constituted in 2013 to review the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in India, but in the same year the mandate of the expert committee was extended to include the 66 pesticides banned or restricted in other countries but continued to be registered for use in India. The expert committee submitted its review report by the end of 2015. The Central Government, after considering the recommendations of the said Expert Committee and after consultation with the Registration Committee satisfied that the use of 18 pesticides are likely to involve risk to human beings and animals as to render it expedient or necessary to take immediate action. Though it is considered as a good move from the central agriculture department to ban the 18 pesticides, exclusion of the remaining 48 pesticides, in the list of 66 pesticides is need to be relooked urgently. PAN India director C. Jayakumar, while responding to the notification on draft Banning of Pesticides Order, 2016 issued by Ministry of agriculture on 15thDecember 2016 [Notification S.O.4212 (E) dated 15thDecember 2016 (F.No.13035/31/2013-PP-I)], says ‘it is unfair and a failure of governance that Indian government allows the use of hazardous pesticides that are either banned or restricted in other countries over health and environmental impacts’. He pointed that while the decision to ban 18 of the 66 pesticides is an appreciable move from the government, allowing the use of remaining 48 pesticides cannot be justified as there is more than enough information available on their hazardous nature and harms it can cause to people and the country. It may be because of the pressure from the industry that the government is unable to take a decision to ban the entire 66 pesticides. ‘In effect, the government is actually promoting the use of such hazardous pesticides and thereby continuing to put farming communities and consumers in India to innumerable health and environmental risks’, he added. Mr. Jayakumar also pointed out that it is unfortunate that the list of 18 pesticides does not include paraquat dichloride, a highly hazardous herbicide already banned in the South Indian State of Kerala; and is used in remaining part of India. Paraquat is a candidate for the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) list of Rotterdam Convention. The use of paraquat is banned or disallowed in at least 32 countries including members of European Union due to its adverse health effects. In Switzerland, the home country of Syngenta, the main producer of paraquat, it is banned since 1989 due to its high acute toxicity for humans. Dr Narasimha Reddy of PAN India says government should release the report submitted by the AnupamVarma Committee for public scrutiny. Glyphosate, a widely used herbicide is not there in the list of 18 pesticides; the World Health organisation recently classified it as a carcinogenic chemical. Dr. Reddy stressed that the government should come up and show its commitment to the people of India by immediately banning all the pesticides that are already banned or restricted in other countries and continue to register in India and safeguard communities from the hazardous effects of such pesticides. Also the government should initiate a process to review all other pesticides registered for use in India for its health and environmental toxicity and come up with firm actions to protect human health and environment. Attachments: minutes of 361st special meeting of registration committee - 22nd December 2015 pesticide banning order - 2016 notification     Recent Posts Pesticide Watch NGO releases report ‘State of Glyphosate Use in India’ State of Glyphosate Use in India Webinar on Elimination of the Uncultivated Greens: Glyphosate Usage in India PR_ Marathi_यवतमाळ विषबाधा: सिंजेंटाचे कीटकनाशक जास्त प्रमाणात गुंतलेले आहे. PR Hindi यवतमाळ विषाक्तता: सिंजेंटा के कीटनाशक अधिकतम शामिल हैं TagsAgroecology AnupamVarma Commitee Report Banned Pesticides BAN Pesticides BRS COPs 2017 Climate Change Community Suffering Corporate Accountability Corporate Libility Delhi gas leack Draft Banning of Pesticides Order 2016 Fact Finding Mission Food Sovereignty Glyphosate Glyphosate ban Herbicide HHP HHPs Highly Hazardous Pesticides Indian Tea India Pesticide Ban India Pesticide Risk Inhalational Poisonings Maharashtra Association of Pesticide Poisonned Persons MAPPP Non-chemical Alternatives No pesticide Use Day Paraquat Paraquat Retailing India Paraquat Use is India Pesticide Management Bill-2017 Pesticide Menace in Yavatma Pesticide Poisoning Pesticide Poisoning in Yavatmal Pesticide Regulation Phasing out HHPs Plantation Pesticide PMB-2017 Roundup Tea Plantations UN HRC Special Rapporteur on the right to food World Soil Day Yavatmal Yavatmal Declaration Yavatmal poisoning


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