Panel favours use of endosulfan for 2 yrs

A joint experts committee on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the manufacture and use of pesticide endosulfan may be permitted for a period of two years in order to exhaust the available stocks.

In a written response to queries posed by the apex court, the committee, including director-general of health services and member secretary of Central Pollution Control Bureau, asserted that India, being a signatory to Stockholm Convention, had committed to discontinuing the use of endosulfan over the next five years.

It said almost all the countries which banned endosulfan had a phase out plan for using it in agriculture over a period of two to six years.  The committee, however, added: “It was of the view that appropriate use of pesticide (in consonance with good agricultural practices) is essential to ensure adequate production and availability of agricultural commodities for the food security of Indian population. Considering the benefits and potential risks, it was felt that the continued use of pesticides is desirable for India.” The apex court on October 9 expanded the experts committee and directed it to tell in definite terms if the use of the pesticide could be permitted in the country.

On available stocks, the committee said according to information furnished by the manufacturers and state governments to union agriculture ministry on July 30, the raw materials of hexa chloro cyclo pentadine (HCCP) was 2,658 mt, while endosulfan technical was 35.5 mt, endosulfan formulation liquid  1,786 kl and dust 128 mt.

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