Thursday, June 28, 2012

Can we just blame the pesticides? Or is it the ignorant and indiscrimate use that is to be blamed?

The latest episode of popular program Sathyameva Jayathe (Truth only Previals) has shown this episode called Toxic food and blames pesticides for health problems etc. I am no advocate for chemical pesticide industry nor am I an advocate for Organic food industry as both have been telling some truths but some not such correct facts either.

There is not one bit of evidence through numerous studies conducted to show that Organic food is in any way better than convensionally grown foods yet the myth persists among populace and this myth is perpetuated by some half scientists and vested interests. Organic production is not simple nor is it economical to feed the large population of India.

However there is some truth in saying pesticides can cause problems if incorrectly used. The pesticides of yore such as Organophosphates, Mercuric Chroride Endosulphan etc are a thing of the psat in most industries in the west as their ill effects have been demonstrated and documented. However the newer chemcials when used correctly have not know to be directly responsible for any ill effects.

So what is the problem in India? Simple incorrect use of pesticides, lack of proper training for farmers, scientists and agronomists, lack of proper safety regulations set up by the government. Most of all lack of proper handling labeling and lack of information on lables and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and Integrated Pest Management strategies. Any one who compares lables MSDS in western countries to that of Indian ones for the same product will clearly see the difference of lack of information not only in the local languages but even in English. Why is this so. Once again the answer is simple lack of rigour in regulations in India. I have yet to see minimum residual limits and maximum withholding periods etc being even mentioned.

Have a look at my post How to conduct sparys in this blog to learn how to do things properly either in your farm or home.

One can't blame these problems on farmers as they are not aware of the risks to a large extent and paying through their health for this lack of regulation in India. Some memebers of the regularotory body do not take responsibility at all for their failures. It is the irgnorant use of chemicals in an inappropriate manner is the cause of the problem. It is hightime Indians demanded that their govt trained the farmers and regulated the industry properly and not allowed the scare mongers and vested interests from both sides to spread lies and half truths and allow farmers to pay the price in the end.

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