Show the way out

Published: Saturday 31 August 1996

Show the way out

The Voluntary Health Association of India (vhai) has launched a campaign to ban and withdraw the manufacture, sale and distribution of endosulfan, a deadly chemical pesticide. vhai's call for action is part of a larger international movement seeking to phase out a number of persistent organic pollutants.

Endosulfan is one of the leading causes of pesticide poisoning. It is highly lethal to fish and other forms of aquatic life. If ingested by humans, it can result in the suppression of immune responses, cause severe liver, kidney and eye damage apart from proving carcinogenic.

Banned as it should be, on a broader level, research on biological, botanical and other eco-friendly approaches to pest and disease control must be given a higher priority. Misleading advertisements of lethal pesticides should be withdrawn immediately and warnings highlighted wherever necessary.Also, plant clinics may be set up in agricultural universities and colleges. Finally, there should be a programme devised to train farmers on the safe and judicious use of pesticides.

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