Agri Business

​India for Safe Food calls for overhaul of rules on pesticide use

Priya sundarajan | | Updated on: Feb 15, 2016

Seeking complete overhaul of regulations governing the use of pesticides, India for Safe Food has written to Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, drawing his attention to suspected carcinogenic pesticides still making their way into the food chain.

​Suggesting ​the assessment of bio-safety and efficacy of each pesticide prior to its registration, the letter, signed by Kavita Kuruganti of the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture, has questioned why so many chemicals (261) are registered in the country “when farming can be done without such chemicals?”

Pitching for use of organic fertilisers, the letter urges the Indian pesticides regulatory regime to catch up with the advances in pest management science.

While welcoming the government’s move to set up the Anupam Verma Committee to review the continued use in India of 66 pesticides, the letter sought immediate implementation of its recommendation to ban 13 pesticides and phasing out of six pesticides by 2020.

It also called upon the Government to set up a portal along with the Health Ministry to collect information from the public as well as certain departments on pesticide poisoning cases – accidental, occupational and intentional.

“Each such reporting on the portal should trigger an investigation to confirm the same, and over a period of time, this body of evidence should be used by the government in its assessment of pesticides,” says the letter, adding that there should be “severe restrictions on licensing and sales” so that food and farming are kept free of toxins.

Published on January 19, 2018

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