CSE recommendations on Draft Pesticides Management Bill, 2018

Dr B. Rajender
Joint Secretary (Plant Protection)
Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare
Department of Agriculture, Co-operation and Farmers’ Welfare
Krishi Bhawan,
New Delhi - 110001

Subject: CSE recommendations on draft Pesticides Management Bill, 2017

Dear Dr B. Rajender Ji,
This has reference to the draft Pesticides Management Bill, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as “the draft Bill”), which was released for comments on February 19, 2018.

The draft bill is of critical importance for health of people of this country. Today, agriculture in India is largely dependent on chemicals including pesticides and their overuse and misuse has a huge impact on the health of humans, animals and the environment. Instances of acute toxicity of farmers due to pesticides are common and chronic toxicity of pesticides is a big health threat for consumers.

CSE has been working on issues relating to pesticides regulation for about two decades now.

We have been a strong advocate of pesticides management in India that preserves the health of humans and environment. We have conducted laboratory studies that found residues of pesticides in food products like soft drinks and bottled water. As a result of our study on pesticides residues in soft drinks, a Joint Parliamentary Committee was set up, which recommended that laws related to pesticide registration and pesticides’ residues in food be strengthened.

We also tested pesticides in human tissues from Kasargod (Kerala) and Punjab.

In 2013, we assessed pesticide regulations and practices in India and highlighted key regulatory gaps and enforcement issues.

We have reviewed the draft bill and would like categorically mention that the proposed draft bill is very weak and fails to completely address the key issues at hand. A new completelyoverhauled draft must be introduced to plug the fundamental gaps which exist in the current version. We have provided our detailed comments and rationale for the same in the Annexure I.

We hope that you consider our recommendations and come up with a robust law to effectively manage pesticides in the country

Please let us know if you have any questions. We would be happy to address.

Yours cordially,
Chandra Bhushan

Encl: Annexure- I: CSE Recommendations | Draft Pesticides Management Bill-2017

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