Government Law College Thrissur Organised a National Workshop on Adverse Effects of Pesticides: Liability and Accountability
Thrissur | 17.10.2022
The public interest research and advocacy organisation Pesticide Action Network India, jointly with theCentre for Academic Innovations and Research at the Government Law college, Thrissur, organised a National workshop on ‘Adverse effects of pesticides: liability and accountability.
Pesticide Action Network India in collaboration with Centre for Academic Innovations and Research and Government Law college, Thrissur, conducted a National workshop on ‘Adverse effects of pesticides; liability and accountability’ to sensitise and mobilise law students by shedding lights on hazards, provisions and legal aspects of pesticide use in India.
Dr. Divya, Assistant Professor, Govt Law college, commenced the workshop by welcoming the speakers, volunteers and audience. Dr. Narasimha Reddy, Public Policy Expert and Dileep Kumar A D, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) India called attention to the necessity of strengthening the legal framework for regulating pesticide use in India.
Dileep Kumar started his presentation by shedding light to the current affairs on pesticide issues. stories and case studies Pertaining to Endosulfan intoxication from Kasargod district of Kerala were addressed by him.
He explained about:
- Acute and Chronic Health effects including immunotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity among the affected individuals, Prenatal origin of endocrine disruption, Childhood and adolescent exposure to Endocrine disrupting pesticides (EDPs).
- How the subtle signs of pesticide intoxication, are mostly ignored, but are concomitant effects of pesticide use.
- Residue analysis conducted under the ‘Safe to Eat program’ of the government of Kerala reported presence of pesticide residues in 35% percent of samples.
- Acts, rules and policies regarding the registration, regulation and usage of pesticides in India and, despite these regulatory frameworks, pesticide poisoning of farmers and workers, and contamination of food, air and water is happening, pointing to serious gaps and lacunae.
- International regulatory framework and Provisions in stockholm and rotterdam conventions.
“About 40 percent of pesticides registered for use in India are highly hazardous, capable of causing serious health issues. Most of the day to day household pesticides used for insect mitigation and elimination are moderately to high toxicity and are capable of intoxication” said Dileep Kumar.
Dr. Narasimha Reddy Donthi elaborated on the status of pesticide consumption in India in the last decade, and how it has become an integral element in modern agriculture. He annotated that the Indian agricultural system was stable and sustainable even before the introduction of pesticides in the Indian market.
He highlighted on the facts,
- India has around 125 pesticide production units, which are capitalised in certain States only in India, accounting to the increased poisoning incidents
- How the recent use of herbicides tied along with the use of insecticides in terms of demand
- How medical sector fails in diagnosing underlying neurological and other problems associated with pesticide use
- The Insecticide Act, 1968, does not encompass the whole set of problems related to pesticide use and the demand for a larger set of rules that embodies every aspect of pesticide use.
- He explained product liability in the context of pesticide products where a manufacturer or supplier is responsible for the implications of pesticide poisoning and how this fails in India. In Maharashtra, farmers were made liable for the poisonings that happened in 2017. He emphasised the Consumer protection act (2019) and provisions (Chapter 6, Section 82-87) which provides scope for bringing product liability cases before consumer court.
Speakers called out for the active participation of youth and legal practitioners in supporting farmers with the help of law. An engaging and dynamic discussion session was conducted following the seminar.
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