Monday, September 15, 2008

The Future of Pesticide Safety in India

Vast chasms characterize Indian agriculture. Average yields are small fractions of what breeders and agronomists achieve. There are matching gaps between farming by Krishi Pandits and others within localities.

We have a similar situation with respect to pesticide safety. I cannot publish or refer to confidential and proprietary data, However, I have seen incontrovertible evidence that reputed pesticide manufacturers are able to protect their production personnel from hazardous exposure. I also have personal experience of this matter.

Accounts of pesticide toxicity in field and market situations lack credibility because of the amateur ways in which primary data is gathered and analyzed. This is why the pesticide industry is forced to discredit or ignore reports of poisoning, especially of the chronic nature.

The very establishment of an NOEL is hard evidence of the need for pesticide safety. All pesticide industry professionals know of instances of pesticide abuse. It follows that slow poisoning is an insidious possibility. There is no time to lose in improving pesticide safety standards. It is a matter of extension for the technology is nearly as old as the hills.

Many farmers no longer handle pesticides directly any longer. Professional application, as required for industrial and home fumigation is not yet a must in India, but it is a route for all stakeholders to support in pro-active, positive, and voluntary ways.

Contract spraymen constitute a vast yet poorly appreciated human resource for pesticide safety. This cadre is most in danger and in need of help as well. Many pesticide safety programs ignore spraymen because they are not paying clients. However, the future of the pesticide industry lies in their hands.

Dermal and inhalation toxicities should be primary aims for new pesticide safety standards. Spraymen can be enabling resources for insectaries, honey production, enforcement of re-entry restrictions, and PHIs as well. We can revolutionize pesticide safety through this approach, and monitor progress through clinical examinations, diagnostic tests, and residue tracking.

I have started this work in Northern India and wish to extend the project to other areas. The Internet makes it possible to spread the good word quickly and free of exorbitant costs.

Please post below or write to me at if you can help.   

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