CURRENT AFFAIRS



The Government of India has decided to ban the use of 18 pesticides

Theme: Pesticides Ban (GS- III)

The Government of India has decided to ban the use of 18 pesticides following the recommendations of the  Anupam Verma Committee.

Details:

  • The complete ban of 12 pesticides would come into effect immediately while the rest 6 would be banned from December 31, 2020.
  • The decision is based on Anupam Verma committee.

How Ban is going to help India:

  • The pesticides proposed to be banned are harmful not just to humans and animals but also leech into the soil and water bodies and harm the aquatic ecosystem. They also lead to bioaccumulation.
  • India is likely to improve its reputation in countries (where the concerned pesticides are banned) which imports food related products (both manufactured and raw) from India.

Concerns surrounding pesticide ban:

  • It is estimated that at least 104 pesticides licenced for use in India have been banned in other parts of the world, whereas Verma Committee only reviewed 66. For example Glyphosate was not among the pesticides reviewed by the Verma committee even though it is banned in several countries.
  • There are also concerns that Committee left out certain deadly pesticides like Monocrotophos and had asked the industry to come up with safety data on these pesticides.
  • Once registered, safety information about pesticide molecules is not legally required to be reviewed periodically to keep pace with toxicological research. Further, only the Centre can ban pesticide molecules. States can only either refuse licences for their sale and manufacture or impose temporary bans no longer than 90 days.
  • This means Indians are regularly exposed to a deadly cocktail of pesticides, through direct application or in their food chain, with little updated information about the safety of the chemicals to humans or the environment.

Pesticide Regulations in India:

  • “Grow Safe food” Campaign has been initiated to create awareness about the safe and judicious use of pesticides among the various stakeholders.
  • India is signatory to UNEP led Stockholm Convention for persistent organic pollutants and Rotterdam convention which promotes open exchange of information and calls on exporters of hazardous chemicals to use proper labeling, include directions on safe handling, and inform purchasers of any known restrictions or bans.
  • Insecticide Act 1968, was enacted to regulate imports, manufacture, storage, transport, sale, distribution and use of insecticides with a view to prevent risk to human beings and animals.
  • The Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee (CIBRC) approves the use of pesticides in India.
  • The health and family welfare ministry monitors and regulates pesticide levels in food, and sets limits for residues in food commodities.
  • Department of Agriculture, Co-Operation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) has launched a scheme “Strengthening and Modernization of Pest Management Approach in India” to promote Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
  • Draft Pesticides Management Bill 2017 aims to regulate the manufacture, imports, storage, transportation, inspection, testing and distribution of pesticides.