Pesticides firms oppose proposed EU ban on Endosulfan


Hyderabad : A pesticides manufacturers’ body Tuesday alleged that the European Union’s push to ban insecticide Endosulfan was against the interests of Indian farmers as they will be forced to buy high priced patented European pesticides.

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Leaders of the Pesticides Manufacturers and Formulators Association of India (PMFAI), experts on pesticides and representatives of farmers’ bodies told a news conference here that the campaign against Endosulfan was aimed at serving “vested interests” of the European Union.

They warned that if the recommendation of Persistent Organic Pollutant Review Committee (POPRC) to list Endosulfan as a ‘Persistent Organic Pollutant’ (POP) at the Stockholm Convention is accepted, it would harm the interests of farmers in India and other developing countries.

POPRC will make recommendations to the fifth meeting of the conference of the parties to be held from April 25 to 29, 2011, in Geneva.

R. Hariharan, chairman of International Stewardship Centre Inc, which works to promote safety in manufacture and use of chemical substances, said there were no observers at Stockholm Convention representing the interests of farmers.

S.K. Handa, an expert on pesticide residue, termed as hasty the study conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH), which blamed Endosulfan for health problems in Kasargod, Kerala.

“There has been successful use of Endosulfan for 40 years in India and 55 years in Europe. Ill effects, if any, should have become visible long ago,” said a farm leader Chengal Reddy.

Anil Kakkar, director of Crop Care Federation of India, said a ban on Endosulfan would deprive Indian farmers access to an affordable and effective crop protection solution and alternatives could be harmful to the farm ecosystem.