ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) welcomes BJP's support for Endosulfan ban in the entire country which has come in response to massive and unanimous demand of citizens of all the states. The Lok Sabha Opposition leader, Sushma Swaraj, has backed the CPI(M)-led Kerala government’s demand for a countrywide ban on endosulfan in the light of the “human sufferings in the northern Kasargod district.” “The party has taken a stand in favour of the ban. All the rest will have to toe the party line.” She said, "BJP is with the people who are suffering due to the ill-effects of the pesticide in Kasaragod district". BJP-ruled Karnataka government had recently banned the pesticide in the state for two months and had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take steps to prohibit the pesticide in the country.
India not against Endosulfan ban if interests protected
India on Thursday told the sixth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) of the Stockholm Convention going on at Geneva it would not prevent an international consensus on banning of Endosulfan pesticide as long as the its interests were protected and concerns reflected in the final declaration.
“We have to appear constructive and sensitive even as we fight for our national interest,’’ Minister of State for Environment and Forests said here.
While most of the governments represented at the Stockholm Convention are in favour of a global ban on Endosulfan, India is opposing it on the ground that it has no alternative available. And in case of a global ban, an alternative has to be provided.
“There is no support at all for delaying or deferring a decision. However, our concern that cost effective and safe alternatives need to be identified has been accepted and the consensus that has emerged is on listing Endosulfan but exemptions allowed for crop-pest combinations,’’ he said.
All exemptions sought by the Indian delegation are being included in the final declaration. These are valid for 5 years, with provision for renewal for another 5 years. The listing takes one year to become effective. This effectively means a phase out over 11 years.
“Taking note of our concern that work on identifying safe, cost effective alternatives is necessary to facilitate phase out, a decision will simultaneously be adopted asking the Technical POP Review committee to undertake this work and report to COP,’’ the Minister said.
We, of course, have the option to ratify this decision if and when we choose to do so, given the terms of our accession to this Convention, Mr Ramesh added. Such a decision will be subject to Cabinet approval.
Kerala has been strongly demanding a nation-wide ban on Endosulfan as it has been claimed that over 500 people have died and the health of thousands others adversely impacted due to the harmful effects of Endosulfan that is a commonly used pesticide. Some districts of Karnataka adjoining Kasargod – the most affected district in Kerala – have also reported harmful effects of Endosulfan, These two States have already banned the use of Endosulfan.
Government has already asked the Indian Council for Medical Research to conduct a study on the impacts of Endosulfan on human health, and will await its report before taking a final decision. All earlier committees have recommended against a ban.
28 April, 2011
VS writes to counterparts
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan on Wednesday wrote to his counterparts of other States, urging them to support the demand for a national ban on endosulfan.
The Chief Minister also urged them to demand that India should adopt a stand favouring a global ban on endosulfan at the conference of parties to the Stockholm Convention in Geneva, which is to end on Friday.
Tragedy in Kasaragod
Mr. Achuthanandan has highlighted the health and environmental impact of the use of the pesticide for three decades in Kasaragod district of Kerala. More than 80 countries, realising its dangers, had either banned or decided to phase-out its use. However, the Government of India was adamant that its use should continue, disregarding the experience in Kerala. There was urgent need for a ban on the pesticide nationally, without waiting for the results of further studies.
The Chief Minister has also sent them a report on the tragedy caused by endosulfan in Kasaragod district and the relief measures taken by his government.
Special Correspondent writes from New Delhi: The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Wednesday demanded a nationwide ban on Endosulfan and the setting up of a committee to asses the damage caused by it and pay compensation to the victims.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that despite several scientific studies — undertaken both by Central and State agencies — finding that endosulfan is a deadly chemical, it is still sold and used in our country,” the party Central Secretariat said in a release.
Since 1995, nearly 500 have died owing to the pesticide and many were suffering from various deformities.
The party pointed out that endosulfan was banned in 81 countries and many others were contemplating to follow suit.
The Centre should review its stand and support a total ban on its use, the party said.
28 April, 2011
Book Review: Patriots, Traitors and Empires—The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom, by Stephen Gowans - Reviewed by Maximilian Forte, published originally at Zero Anthropology Review of: Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Free...