The Endosulfan debate, are we blind?

Friday 29th April is “Harthal” in Kerala. It can be called a state sponsored Harthal, because the ruling Coalition the Left front has called for this Harthal. I think most of the people in Kerala(except for a few UDF leaders) stand in full support for this strike. But I wonder, what do these people know? Or have they tried to understand anything about the Endosulfan problem, other than what they have read from the newspapers? So I am trying to explain something, which was not known to me until yesterday.

Isn’t Endosulfan banned in Kerala?

Yes, it is.

Why does the Kerala Govt want Endosulfan to be banned all over India?

Because we love our country and all the people in it, no matter whether he is Keralite or not

Is Endosulfan available in Kerala?

Yes, though it is banned in Kerala, it is freely available in Tamilnadu and other neighbouring states. So people don’t have any trouble using it in Kerala.

Has the state Govt tried to enforce this ban?

I think so, but don’t have any concrete evidence on it.

Why is the Central Govt keen on using Endosulfan?

Because Endosulfan is the cheapest Insectiside available, which is produced by Hindustan Insectisides limited (HIL) and a lot of other private firms.

So from the Q&A section as we move forward we find that Endosulfan has produced serious health effects in Kasargod district in Kerala. In Kasargod district Endosulfan was used via Aerial spraying by Plantation Corporation and has resulted in Mental retardation and several Congenital malformations. I had the opportunity to work in Kasargod district and during my stay there what I could understand was that, since victims of Endosulfan got so many benefits from the state govt, victims of almost all natural diseases or malformations were enlisted under Endosulfan victims list.So the list kept on growing and keeps on growing even now.

Kerala is one of those states using the minimum amount of endosulfan,and the states which grow agricultural crops and  grapes( they dip the full bunch in endosulfan) have not reported any adverse effects. It was the improper usage(aerial spraying) by plantation corporation which resulted in the Endosulfan tragedy.So the fight of V S Achutanandan to ban Endosulfan is not out of sympathy for the poor victims but for petty political gains.

What could happen is Endosulfan is banned?

  • Endosulfan is an off patent insectiside which is produced in bulk in India at very cheap rates.
  • We don’t have an insectiside to replace Endosulfan in near future.
  • Agricultural production is set to drop by more than 25%-50% if Endosulfan is banned.
  • Kerala is not an agricultural state and it won’t be much affected by this ban, but where does our food and vegetable come from?
  • India will have to rely on patented and costly insectisides produced by corporates once endosulfan is banned.

So the net result will be growing poverty, for just petty political gains for the LDF/VS. I don’t think any of the leaders are aware of the dire consequences of their actions. It is time we think, find an alternative and then voice for ban.

Even though I was not pro LDF, I had supported this campaign, but from many experiences I had in my life, I know that what political campaigns are and how newspapers publish news.Most newspapers won’t publish any news which is against public opinion, so the truth remains covered. I never came across a pro endosulfan report in any newspaper in Kerala. So once I had to choose between my inflated ego and the bright future of my country, I decided to rein my ego and stand by the central govt for a wonderful future.

I was with VS till yesterday, I used to wonder why the Central govt is so keen in promoting Endosulfan,but now I understand what can happen, how our country will be in chaos. At Stockholm convention, India will be looking forward for consensus in preventing the ban from happening. I too look forward to see what is going to happen, let us leave the past as it is and try to heal the wounds and look forward to a bright future where no one is left hungry.

Don’t forget to read this article from ABC:Expert says world endosulfan ban would be over the top

“An international meeting this week in Geneva may decide to implement a world-wide ban on a commonly used pesticide, endosulfan.

But University of Sydney Professor Ivan Kennedy warns that if the ban goes ahead, it will mean food supplies for millions of people and the crops of millions of farmers are at risk.

He says the cost of some foods could also rise significantly, because pesticides up to 10 times as expensive may be needed.

In a peer-reviewed paper published this week, Professor Kenndey outlines extensive evidence that shows the substance, endosulfan, can continue to be used in carefully managed conditions.

Professor Kennedy acknowledges that in large doses endosulfan is a toxic substance.

“Toxic chemicals necessary for efficient agricultural production will always be with us, but these should all be in constant review. There is evidence accepted by medical authorities that endosulfan has been handled safely in Australia,” he said.

“Compared to DDT, which can persist in the environment for decades, endosulfan’s short half-life means that in most conditions, it reduces to only negligible quantities in a few months, or even days on plants.”

  1. I really feel for you guys. Can you not contact someone from the World Health Organisation and seek their support? I understand the need to have something else sustainable for future food safety and health but attacking health with bad chemicals is not right either. I think people would rather be a bit hungrier and healthy than full and sick yes? If it were me, I would contact the W.H.O.

  2. U.S. Pesticide Regulation: We Still Have a Long Way to Go | fuchao - pingback on October 27, 2013 at 6:13 pm

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