PIL in HC for ban on 66 pesticides restricted world over

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A PIL has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking a ban on 66 pesticides used in India, claiming these are banned or restricted in several countries.

HC
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The plea seeks cancellation of the registration of the 66 chemicals and a prohibition on their sale in India on the ground that they pose a risk to the health of humans, animals and plants.

The petition came up for hearing before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra which has agreed to hear it on August 28.

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The petitioner, a law graduate, has alleged that the expert panel which was set up to examine the continued use of these pesticides, has been dominated and influenced by the pesticide manufacturers lobby.

“The private pesticide manufacturers became part and parcel of the expert committee and played a role much larger than an invitee.

“The minutes show that the expert committee relied almost exclusively on the data generated by the very same industry that it was seeking to regulate,” the petition by K V Biju said.

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The petitioner, who also claims to be part of an organisation fighting against hazardous chemicals, has sought setting up of a new expert committee comprising people who are independent of the pesticide industry.

He has also alleged that while most of these pesticides are banned in European nations on the basis of safety to human and animal life as well as the environment, “India is becoming a safe haven and dumping ground for such hazardous chemicals”.

Apart from the 66 pesticides, including DDT which is still used in India for vector control, the petitioner has listed out some other chemicals which are banned or restricted in several countries but continue to be used here.

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The petitioner has, therefore, sought a review of such other pesticides, apart from the list of 66 chemicals, which have been banned or restricted in other countries but are still in use in India.

The petition contains a list of the 66 pesticides which also include aluminium phosphide, carbosulfan, dazomet, zinc phosphide, captan, carbofuran and many others.

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