EU bid to ban endosulfan may drive up food prices
Feb. 11, 2011
Food prices would shoot up further, if Europe has its way on its proposal at a global green forum to ban a cheaper generic pesticide — endosulfan — across the world.
“A ban on endosulfan would drive up the cost of agriculture and jeopardise the country’s food security at a time of rising demand,” said Dr Chengal Reddy, the secretary general of the Consortium of Indian Farmers Association and chairman Federation of Farmers Associations.
India is the world’s largest producer, exporter and user of the low-cost pesticide, which farmers across the rest of the country continue to use on tea, cotton, rice and other crops.
According to Mr Pradeep Dave, the president of the Pesticides Manufacturers and Formulators Association of India, said European patented alternatives would be ten times more expensive.” Apart from India, other developing countries such as China and Argentina have opposed the European Union’s proposal. Though India has refused to back the proposal, farmers and pesticide companies are planning to organise rallies to force the government to protect the interests of farmers.
India has a huge task drawn up at Stockholm Convention meeting in April, says Mr R. Hariharan, the chairman of the International Stewardship Centre. “The Stockholm Convention does not work on the basis of consensus. The Indian government has to work with other developing countries in Asia and Africa to adopt a consensus based model on the endosulfan issue.”
Some environmental non governmental organisations, however, want the government to ban the pesticide. “The biggest problem of endosulfan is bioaccumulation. In colder countries like Denmark and Finland, endosulfan residue is present even after they stopped using it,’’ an NGO, working for the ban on endosulfan, said.
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