Lies, Damn Lies and Endosulfan

KUSHAL PS YADAV blows the lid off dirty tactics adopted to give clean chit to endosulfan

At Down To Earth (DTE) we believe that truth withheld is truth denied. Fresh evidence suggests a web of lies and deceit was weaved to declare that the pesticide endosulfan is not responsible for the horrendous mutations and ailments that many in the villages of Kerala's Kasaragod district are suffering from. These villagers, living in the shadow of cashew plantations, have been exposed to the toxin which was sprayed aerially for more than two decades. But industry maintains that the health problems are not related to the pesticide. It claims the culprit is anything but endosulfan. With the controversy embroiling the organochlorine pesticide raging, in 2002, the Union government set up an expert group -- the O P Dubey Committee -- to determine if it had indeed caused the health problems prevalent in the area. The panel was also meant to recommend whether the application of the pesticide should be allowed in the country. Its report, finalised and submitted in early 2003, concluded: "There is no link between the use of endosulfan in PCK (Plantation Corporation of Kerala) plantations and health problems reported from Padre (the worst affected village)." The pesticide industry was vindicated and the matter was closed.

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