Friday, June 13, 2008

Endosulfan When it Sizzles


Endosulfan was first synthesized in a temperate country. However, it

has a natural fit with tropical and sub-tropical farm lands. Heat from the

sun and humidity from clouds are favorable for the rapid spread of pests

that Endosulfan and Endogram manage best in tandem. Some

precautions and contingent actions related to oral toxicity are universal,

but dermal and inhalation exposures deserves additional attention when

ambient temperatures stay above 35 degrees celsius even when it is dark.

Residue management, transport, and storage have to be necessarily

location specific, as do regulatory compliance measures for the

containment of contamination. Endosulfan can and must be used safely

and judiciously in all climates. It is a primary and strategic weapon

against devastating pestilence, and deserves professional stewardship.

Endosulfan for All Seasons

Endosulfan is a versatile and farmer-friendly pesticide. Its acute toxicology parameters are entirely within the skill sets of trained applicators. Endosulfan is the partner of choice for herbal extracts and bio-rational products. It is also a useful tool for resistance management spray regimens. Beneficial organisms, especially the egg parasite Trichogramma, are partial to Endosulfan. This pesticide finds favor with cultivators who have not studied entomology because it can manage populations of a wide variety of pests with varied feeding habits.

Endosulfan should not be used when it rains incessantly. It is an optimal choice in all other growing conditions. The loading, application, disposal, and storage precautions that are standards for all pesticide labels suffice as precautions for Endosulfan as well. Sprays during dusk and dawn not only produce better results, but are safer as well. Dyed water and sensitive papers should be used to gauge the extents of drift, should windy conditions prevail. All people and animals must be kept outside this drift zone. Long application booms are best for avoiding dermal toxicity for operators, who should be particular to adjust their field movements so as to respect re-entry periods stipulated by law.
Endosulfan and Endogram

Rainy spells favor insect incidences. A farmer cannot leave valuable crops exposed for days on end. Heavy soils may remain unsuitable for field operations for long periods after rains have ceased. Hence, a farmer should have access to a rearing facility for cutting-edge IPM technologies to work. Endogram is unique in this respect. It is the only egg parasite that a farmer can encourage even before the rains break. New cards can be attached near tender leaves even on rainy days. Endogram eggs can be placed out of the reach of rain drops, so that they hatch successfully. Endogram is a boon for farmers, and it makes Endosulfan a pesticide of universal choice.

Trichogrmma production and distribution do not have established commercial models. Indeed, the consensus amongst people who have tried such ventures in the past is that such projects drain cash. It is therefore important to learn from history and to make corrections in the implementation program. A first step should be to achieve a correct balance between centralization and decentralization. Maintaining and building on tolerances, as well as the supply of quality Corcyra eggs are suggested boundaries of centralization. Rearing, card preparation, and scouting should be at the periphery. Rural women can be organized in to cooperatives, and given corollary roles, to make Endogram a commercial success.

Why Farmers Depend on Endosulfan

Endosulfan is a favorite whipping boy for publicity-hungry and misguided activists. Ignorance is a primary weapon of such propagandists, who tout invalid accounts of deleterious effects, without any facts or accountability. Endosulfan is the scapegoat for negligence at various levels: it is as though one should blame bank notes for corruption! Much of this awful abuse is directed by patent holders who seek to replace Endosulfan with their extravagantly priced monopolies. Even original discoverers have no qualms about condemning their own former patented molecules, once they become generics. Emerging country regulators and urban dwellers are natural targets of such manipulations.

Countries which support Endosulfan lead world progress on the farm productivity front. Cotton is the most striking example, with impressive strides by India in this wonderful fiber. Multiple flushes and weather uncertainties make cotton a risky crop for farmers on the financial front. Cash flows from small plots of pulses and maize help cultivators meet essential agronomic requirements. Economy is the most important parameter for farmers to keep in mind. Excess spending during certain crop-cycle phases can lead to ruin. This is where Endosulfan comes to the rescue of cash-strapped farmers. No other product can match it for spectrum and duration in terms of financial outlays.

Universal Toxicity and Hazard Management

Farmers do not enjoy the influences of capitalists and the wealthy of urban areas. They must act as their own stewards. This includes preventing abuse of their essential farm inputs. An Endosulfan ban can wreck havoc with rural economics. What is worse is that it can make an economy dependent on expensive imports from Europe. Farmers are servers. They do not intend to contaminate the environment. Harming urban health is not the aim of any farmer. Farmers depend on extension agencies for information and new technologies. The Internet opens new possibilities in this regard. All stakeholders can agree that extension services should focus on safety and ecological conservation parameters, as they have done for productivity and agronomy in the past.

The extension needs of farmers vary by country, and even by region within nations such as China and India. Just as each growing area has its own University, agriculture department officials, and agronomic recommendations, so the safety practices should be prepared taking ground realities in to account. A common reason for European prescriptions in this regard being ill-conceived, is that their farm conditions are entirely different. Agriculture in Europe is mechanized and entirely subsidized. It is not sustainable in economic terms. That is why global safety standards need realistic interpretation when we fly out from the comfort of Europe in to the heartlands of the impoverished.

Additional Precautions and Contingent Actions

What can farmers do to support Endosulfan? One approach could be to create feasible ways of managing the risks and consequences of abuse. A first step that would make an enormous difference relates to the establishment of a cadre of professional pesticide operators. Physically fit adult males in normal states of health should be trained in loading, application, containment of contamination, as well as storage practices. They should also be capable of dealing with emergencies related to pesticide abuse. The cadre should be local, so that they can deal with language and cultural issues. However, they should have Internet and mobile access, so that they can be in daily and real-time contact with central experts and authorities. This cadre would have to work in close coordination with a co-operative of women responsible for Endogram and its related operations.

Individual farmers with small holdings cannot practice modern agronomy efficiently. The communist model of collective farming needs revival, albeit in a modified format. India's dairy co-operatives can show the way, since they have unprecedented track records of success. The co-operative template will provide small farmers with cutting-edge technologies, while retaining their personal rights at the same time. However, it does mean that individual spray operations should cease. Such a restriction cannot be imposed: it must emanate from within the village community. What external agencies can contribute is to establish demonstration models to serve as benchmarks if not ideals for farmers to consider. This is one of the advantages that contract farming and plantation models have. The entire continent of Africa, as well as conventional farming in Australia and the granaries of North America, have powerful examples of how systematic implementation of agronomy over large areas can produce sustainable productivity.

National and World Boundaries of Pesticide Stewardship

Europe is not content with minding its own agriculture. The continent leaves no stone unturned to further its patent interests. Vigilance is the eternal price of freedom. Regulators in emerging countries have to balance toxicology and physical chemistry resources with the imperative to protect the interests of their farmers and economies. There are registration requirements in individual countries that are simply wasteful. It is not necessary to repeat tests on defenseless laboratory animals, or even to repeat analytical and metabolism studies. The harmonization of registration will release substantial resources in cash-strapped countries, which should be recycled in to extension initiatives. Most of the regulatory bureaucrats in third-world countries should move away from desks, offices, meetings, and files, and work in fields with farmers instead.

The NOEL, molecule specifications, metabolic studies, and analytical methods are four areas in which the whole world can comfortably follow the lead of Europe. There are no significant advantages in duplicating the resources that Europe has sunk in to generating such factual information. However, the ADI, label claims, MRL, re-entry period, and handling prescriptions should be national, with provisions for regional modifications. Strategic pesticides such as Endosulfan should enjoy special stewardship support, so that internationally-motivated pressures for bans are addressed effectively.


Endosulfan is suitable for use in the tropics. Rains, rather than sunshine or temperature, are the real limitations of use. That is why Endogram is a vital partner for Endosulfan. Endosulfan and Endogram make a team that no poor farmer should be denied. The balance between European and national interests vitiate the current pesticide regulation structure. Farmers can benefit by the decentralization of all extension applications of capital-intensive toxicology procedures. A local application cadre, working in tandem with Endogram production, in real-time contact with central knowledge resources, can produce sustainable productivity benefits, and meet all legitimate stakeholder aspirations.

Recommended Reading

Howard, P, 1991, Handbook of Environmental Fate and Exposure Data for Organic Chemicals, CRC Press

Lauwerys, R, and Hoet, P, 2001, Industrial Chemical Exposure, CRC Press

Ramamoorthy, S, 1997, Chlorinated Organic Compounds in the Environment, CRC Press

Roberts, T, Hutson, D, and Jewess, P, 1998, Metabolic Pathways of Agrochemicals, Royal Society of Chemistry

Wyatt, T, and Chiri, A, 2007, Benefits of Endosulfan in Agricultural Production, retrieved June 2008 from:

Endosulfan, 1984, International Program on Chemical Safety, retrieved June 2008 from:

Endosulfan, 2001, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, retrieved June 2008 from:

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