Endorse proposal to ban of 27 pesticides, activists appeal to AP Govt

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on August 11, 2020

Agricultural activists and scientists have asked the Andhra Pradesh Government to support a draft proposal by the Centre that seeks to ban 27 pesticides.

In a letter to Poonam Malakondaiah, Special Chief Secretary (Agriculture), they appealed to the State Government to welcome the Central draft and a “go a step further and ban all pending bannable pesticides too.”

They alluded to the Union Government’s May 18 draft order that seeks to ban 27 pesticides and feedback from stakeholders on the proposal. The deadline for submission feedback has been extended till August 17 from June 13 in order to let more stakeholders send in their opinions on the proposed ban.

They pointed out that some of the 27 pesticides also included a few ‘WHO Class 1’ pesticides, that are classified as ‘probable and possible human carcinogens’.

The farm activists said the Andhra Pradesh Government wrote to the Centre way back in 2006, asking for a ban on 27 pesticides being reviewed by an expert committee at that point of time.

“The pesticides listed in the draft ban order are implicated in numerous pesticide poisoning cases (occupational, intentional as well as accidental poisonings), in export consignment rejections due to unacceptable levels of residues and also in studies about food samples within the country,” the activists said in the letter.

“At least 17 of these pesticides are in the category of ‘Deemed to be Registered Pesticides’ (DRPs), which were included into India’s regulatory regime because they were already in use by the time the Insecticides Act 1968 came into force. This essentially means that no biosafety assessment was undertaken when these pesticides were registered for use,” they said.

They pointed out that alternatives are available and banning of such pesticides does not lead to any productivity related setbacks. They reminded that the Andhra Pradesh had implemented the Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture (CMSA) programme in the undivided state put a thrust on Non Pesticidal Management of crops.

The signatories to the letter included Kavitha Kuruganti, Kiran Vissa (Rythu Swarajya Vedika), YV Malla Reddy (Director AF Ecology Centre and Member AP State Agriculture Mission), MS Chari, (former Director-Research, Anand Agricultural University, Gujarat), Veena Shatrugna (former Deputy Director, National Institute of Nutrition), GV Ramanjaneyulu (Executive Director, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture), and Meera Sanghamitra (National Alliance for People’s Movements).

Published on August 11, 2020

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