India still in endosulfan denial

International review committee pushes for global ban

By Savvy Soumya Misra
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

INDIA failed Kasaragod again. Despite letters to the Centre from Kerala chief minister and forest minister pleading that India support the global ban on endosulfan, industry lobbyists continue to hold sway at international forums.

In 2003, several families in Kasaragod district of Kerala were found victims of aerial spraying of endosulfan pesticide in cashew plantations.

At the sixth meeting of Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) to the Stockholm Convention, India opposed a global ban on the manufacture, use, import and export of endosulfan. The committee met in Geneva from October 11 to 15. Of the 29 members in the review committee, 24 supported the ban and four (Germany, Ghana, Nigeria and China) abstained.

Despite India’s opposition, the committee adopted a risk management evaluation and recommended a ban to the Conference of Parties (COP) of Stockholm Convention scheduled to meet in April 2011.

Endosulfan, an organochlorine compound, used as insecticide is an endocrine disruptor and a neurotoxin. Seventy-three countries have phased out or banned endosulfan; Australia was the latest to ban it on October 12. India opposed the ban citing economic losses. The endosulfan industry in India is pegged at US $100 million.

“Negotiators said farmers could not be trained to use other insecticides and that most states were dependent on endosulfan. On the contrary, many states have switched to organic farming and are doing well,” said C Jayakumar, member of Thanal, a non-profit in Kerala working with endosulfan victims. He was an observer at the POPRC.

Observers say a ban was possible at POPRC as it was a scientific committee. The COP is a political forum and decision is taken through consensus. India is likely to stick to its stand and impede consensus. But the rate at which countries are banning endosulfan, India could be the only one producing and using it.

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  • Endosulfan - Endocrine

    Endosulfan - Endocrine Disruptor??? Farmers across the world have benefited by the use of Endosulfan and this is long-standing evidence proving that Endosulfan is safe—leaving limited room for doubts based on dubious lab tests.It has been certified by World Health Organisation (Switzerland) and Food & Agriculture Organisation (Italy) to not cause cancer, birth defects, or any hormonal imbalance on contact.It is also the opinion of the United Nations Environment Programme, International Labour Organisation, Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority and the US Environmental Protection Agency and California Department of Pesticide Registration, that Endosulfan has no carcinogenic potential. How can we claim that Endosulfan causes Health defects without any substantial evidence?

    Posted by: Anonymous | 10 years ago | Reply
  • Sir, I am a victim of

    Sir, I am a victim of ENDOSULFAN my better half died due to cancer in Gall bladder due to consuming the cashew fruits consistanly while we were in Kasargod. My 15 year child is ill bedded due to HYDROCEPHALus, having 7 different sicks called doubtful vision, cerebral palsy, epilepticus, V.P. shunt done, due to aqueduct synosis, unable to do anything by herself, living the life with the help of age old father who is retired Mathematics Teacher having M.A. (socio), M.Ed., Completed Pereliminary Qualifying Examination in Education (Ph.D. in Education in 1993) Simple thing to know about endosulfan means pour 2 or 3 drops of it in a sample specimen. I think you sir having children and better half for the help with you. Just think about us or the victims with scientific proof I challenge you in this world. yours sincerely, jagadishchandran

    Posted by: Anonymous | 10 years ago | Reply
  • Dear Shreeram if you dont

    Dear Shreeram
    if you dont believe what the farmer who lost his wife to cancer had to say - do check this site- you will know whether it is an endocrine disruptor or not.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • The Government of Kerala is

    The Government of Kerala is well within its Right to shut down the operations of any industrial entity that has been degrading its Environment and affecting, adversely, the health of its people - including those owned by the Government of India.

    To get it re-open the Government of India needs to appeal with the High Court and may be later at the Supreme Court.

    The resultant legal battle would sensitize the citizens of India and another peoples movement would erupt to force the Central Government's policy on the production and usage of Inorganic Insecticides & Pesticides - which have been eroding our digestive system and also giving us many permanent health problems, through contaminating our food and water chains.

    We have seen that mere hunger-strikes and other Agitations do not move the juggernaut of the Government Policy Making Mechanism which has been bought out by the money bags.

    [Environmentalist & Author: "Mayhem of the Miserables!"]

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply