Farmers concoct pesticides out of colas | Centre for Science and Environment


Farmers concoct pesticides out of colas

There is never any end to learning. And so, surprises. We have learnt, over 20 years, that environmental governance in India is lackadaisical.

Still, the extent of irresponsibility never fails to surprise...

There is never any end to learning. And so, surprises. We have learnt, over 20 years, that environmental governance in India is lackadaisical. Still, the extent of irresponsibility never fails to surprise.

Some months ago we did a study on pesticides in bottled water. We were really looking at pesticides in drinking water but research on municipal water supply was too difficult, so bottled water it was. We found pesticides. Where were they coming from? We found that the plants were using groundwater; the profile of pesticides in the bottles matched that in the groundwater. We understood more about the water use of these companies. Yet a question remained. Why did we find pesticides, and government not? So we looked at regulations and found that the science was about choosing the appropriate methodology of analysis. Government regulations were all about 'insensitive' detection methods, designed not to find what you looked for. We also learnt about the economics and technology of water treatment and how the management of the 'source' was critical. The more water was contaminated, the higher were the costs of treatment, the costs of ill heath.

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