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Endosulfan

India Agrees to Asbestos Listing

Day 3: In a surprising turn of events, the Indian delegation agreed to the listing of chrysotile asbestos in the Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention which is the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) list. The turnaround came at a contact group meeting which was set up for discussion on chrysotile asbestos also known as white asbestos as they member groups of the convention could not agree upon a consensus. However, when India announced its stand it was applauded and it received a standing ovation at the plenary.

Status Quo on Asbestos

Day 4: Despite India changing its stand, the COP hasn't been able to reach a consensus on the listing of chrysotile asbestos in the PIC list. Confusion over the meaning of 'listing' as opposed to 'banning' was cited as the reason for not being able to reach a consensus.

Joint Committee's First Meeting Today

The Supreme Court appointed joint committee, headed by ICMR director general VM Katoch and Agriculture Commissioner Gurbachan Singh met for the first time on June 23. This was after five weeks of its appointment. The heads of the committee revealed that they will meet again on July 6-7.

FSSAI's Scientific Panel Reconstituted

Old wine in new bottle The Supreme Court on February 8 this year had ordered the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to reconstitute its scientific panel. The apex food regulatory body had inducted members from the food industry, defeating it's very purpose of regulating the food industry. Of the eight scientific panels, seven had 18 members from big food businesses.

Karnataka and MP take a step back

It was a shocker. Out of the 21 states that attended a meeting at the agriculture commissioner's office, 20 opposed the ban on endosulfan and this included Karnataka, that has already banned endosulfan in the state and Madhya Pradesh, whose agriculture minister had sent a letter to the centre supporting Kerala's ex chief minister VS Achuthanandan's call for a nationwide ban on endosulfan.

Licence to Kill, Not Anymore

HIL's (Hindustan Insecticide Limited) licence to produce endosulfan was cancelled by the Kerala government on May 27. The Gujarat agriculture department too has seized the permit of nearly 80 endosulfan manufacturing and formulating units in the state.

Grand Finale: Day 5 April 29

The last day of the Stockholm Convention, ushered some good news for all those crusading against endosulfan in India. Endosulfan has finally been brought under the Annex A of the Stockholm Convention, which means that Endosulfan should be banned globally. India softened its stand and agreed to the listing without any opposition. This was a welcome move as India had become almost notorious for opposing any ban on endosulfan in the international arena ever since it was introduced as a persistent organic pollutant in the fourth Stockholm Convention in 2008.

A week after the ban

Its been a week since the Supreme Court issued the order for the interim ban on endosulfan. There is no official confirmation on the joint committee yet, when they have to present the interim report within 8 weeks, from May 13, to the Supreme Court. It is after the interim report is submitted will the apex court take a final call on whether the pesticide should be allowed or banned.

SC bans Endosulfan, but where are the committees?

The Supreme Court, on May 13, passed an ad-interim order to ban the manufacture, sale and use of Endosulfan with immediate effect across the country. It also issued an order for a joint committee of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Agriculture Commissioner for a study on the health impacts of endosulfan within 8 weeks.