South Asian Media Workshop on Food Safety and Pesticide Contamination
New Delhi, August 4-5, 2004
CSE organized a two-day media briefing workshop to discuss and demystify these issues and concerns. The workshop brought together experts, scientists, researchers, politicians, government representatives, regulators and mediapersons from South Asian countries – Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – to explain the key topical areas.
What are the issues and concerns in food safety and pesticide contamination? What are the implications of the JPC’s recommendations? What is the way ahead? These and many other related questions were debated and answered at the workshop. The discussions encouraged greater understanding of the issues and reporting on them with more clarity.
The agenda of the workshop was to discuss the JPC report and its recommendations as a preface to the deeper and critical issue of water contamination, food safety and pesticide regulation. Eminent speakers from politicians to bureaucrats, to doctors and lawyers addressed the participants and other members of the press and the civil society.
The workshop was attended by 32 participants, including seven from South Asian countries. This is what some of them had to say about the conduct of the workshop.
“The workshop imparted a clear idea about the issues relating food contamination due to pesticides and other contaminants. This will help us, the media men, to write specifically on the issues. The experiences of delegates from other South Asian countries made it clear that the soft drink contamination is not a problem of certain regions only. So this will hopefully make the parliamentarians and authorities think about stringent standard for regulating them. Lot of thanks to CSE.”
- Deeju Sivadas, Correspondent, Varthamanam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
“Pesticide contamination is because of their use in agriculture, this was one part that was not given due weightage. We need to really educate the farmers so that they do not use the pesticides far above the recommended levels. We cannot blame the manufacturers for the illiteracy of the farmers and their ignorance. Something in this regard must be done.”
- Nakhat Ara Naqvi, Assistant Editor, Agriculture Today, Delhi.