At the sixth meeting of Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) to the Stockholm Convention (Geneva Oct 11-15), India once again opposed a global ban on the manufacture, use, import and export of endosulfan. Of the 29 members in the review committee, 24 supported the ban and four (Germany, Ghana, Nigeria and China) abstained.
Despite India’s opposition, the committee recommended a ban to the Conference of Parties (COP) of Stockholm Convention scheduled for April 2011. Seventy-three countries have phased out or banned endosulfan.
Back home, Union Minister of State for Agriculture K V Thomas came under a lot of fire for stating that there was no evidence to prove that the pesticide endosulfan caused health hazards. While addressing a public meeting at Kasargod in Kerala, Thomas cited a study by a government-appointed committee that had not found conclusive proof of endosulfan's adverse effects on humans. Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan criticised the Centre's stand for not supporting the move for global ban on endosulfan.
(Read Down To Earth story: India still in endosulfan denia )