Sunday, August 31, 2008

Combination Pesticide Safety

Every one of the three Plant Protection Advisers to the Government of India, with whom I have worked, has been in a titan in office.

I dedicate today's post to the memory of Dr. K. D. Paharia. He was certainly one of the fiercest officials I have ever known. I hated him for a long time because he banned Disulfoton, one of the first molecules with which I launched my career. However, today with reports of Colony Collapse Disorder, I realize that Dr. Paharia was dead right in one respect: he refused to register combination pesticides.

Here are just three of widespread references on how neonicotinoids are suspected to cause Colony Collapse Disorder:

I can appreciate today that Dr. K. D. Paharia would not have stood by idly and let the honey bee colonies of India die. We need his spirit today to restrict the use of dangerous pesticides patented by European companies from invading our biodiversity. Seed treatment with neonictonoids under expert supervision is good enough: there is no case for their unrestricted aerial application after the reproductive phase of a crop life-cycle starts.

I appeal to the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine, and Storage in Faridabad to consider immediate restrictions on neonicotinoid use, to protect the honey bees of India.

Please add your voice to this campaign in the interests of Indian agriculture.

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