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25 Pesticides Banned in India, Others Face Partial Curbs

Some 25 pesticides are banned for manufacture, import and use in India. Two other pesticides and formulations are banned for use in the country but their manufacture is allowed for export, it has been revealed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

As India grapples with this complex issue at the intersection of agricultural productivity and environmental safety, the government has also acknowledged that there are four pesticide formulations banned for "import, manufacture and use" and another seven pesticides on the "withdrawn" list.

Another 18 pesticides have been "refused registration". In some cases, the pesticide industry has failed to submit "complete data" about their products, officials said.

In an RTI application reply to information campaigner Harikumar P. of Kasargod in Kerala, the ministry of agriculture's secretary S. Kulshrestha said the "main reason for banning" pesticides was that some "involved a health hazard to human beings, animals and damage to the environment".

Kulshrestha added that others had been placed in the "withdrawn" list, as "these are likely to cause risk to human beings and animals as their safety cannot be fully established for want of complete data asked for from the pesticide industry".

Thirty-seven pesticides are on the list "under review" for their "continued use or otherwise" in the country. Included here are organophosphate insecticide monocrotophos, seen in the West as acutely toxic to birds and banned in the US and elsewhere.

Large bird kills, especially of Swainson's Hawks from the prairies and grasslands of western North America, have been reported allegedly from the use of monocrotophos.

On the 'banned' pesticides and formulations list are aldrin, benzene hexachloride, calcium cyanide, chlordane, copper acetoarsenite, cibromochloropropane, endrin, ethel mercury chloride, ethyl parathion, heptachlor, menzaone, nitrofen, pa
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