Ban 13 pesticides, phase out 6 by 2020, suggests Verma panel

Aditi Nigam | | Updated on: Jan 19, 2018


Registration committee favours review of each pesticide in 10-year intervals

The Anupam Verma Committee, set up to review the continued use of 66 pesticides that have been barred/restricted for use in farming in other countries, has recommended a ban on 13 ‘extremely hazardous’ pesticides (see table), phasing out of six ‘moderately hazardous’ ones by 2020, and review of 27 pesticides in 2018.

The six pesticides suggested for phasing out by 2020 are: alachor, dichorvos, phorate, phosphamidon, triazophos and trichlorfon.

The Verma panel did not review the use of endosulfan, as it is being examined by the Supreme Court.

Review mooted

Following the panel recommendations, the Registration Committee (RC) of the Central Insecticides Board, at a special meeting held on December 22, 2015, has suggested that “each pesticide should be reviewed in 10-year intervals after registration”.

The committee, headed by JS Sandhu, Deputy Director General (Crops Science), also recommended certain deadlines, failing which registration of pesticides could be cancelled, according to the minutes of the meeting uploaded on the insecticide board’s website.

“All the deemed to be registered pesticides (DRP) need to be re-evaluated for their bio-efficacy and residue data against major target pests as per approved label claims, and baseline toxicity data may be generated by the registrants by December 2017; otherwise the Certificate of Registration will be treated as deem(ed) cancelled w.e.f. 1st January 2018,” it said.

Welcoming the development in a Facebook post, the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture, an umbrella of 400 organisations from over 22 states that is pitching for organic farming, said: “This is good. But we certainly want more. We know farming can be done without pesticides. Why register so many chemicals in the first instance?” In Parliament, the Centre was asked whether it was aware that chlorpyrifos, phorate, monocrotophos and neonicotinoid were still being imported for use in the agriculture sector. These insecticides are banned or restricted in their countries of origin as they endanger human health, soil, livestock and the environment.

Ministry response

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha question on December 8, 2015, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh had said that the percentage of spice samples above the maximum residue level of pesticides had decreased in the last years, whereas, for the same period, the percentage of vegetable samples above the maximum residue level had remained stagnant.

“No samples of meat have been found above maximum residue level (of pesticides) in the past three years,” Singh said.

He added that the percentage of samples of fruits above maximum residue level had increased from 1.2 per cent in 2012-13 to 1.8 per cent in 2014-15.

Published on February 02, 2016
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