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Food And Toxins

2010: choose your future today

A new decade. For me, three decades of work in environment. I wonder: have matters improved since the early 1980s, when I began? Or, are things worse off? Where do we go from here?

About Food Safety & Toxins

The programme relies on a two pronged strategy of doing laboratory research to generate empirical data on issues of toxins and food safety and secondly, doing policy research and advocacy to bring about changes in the regulatory and enforcement framework.

Homicide by Pesticides

A collection of articles on the threat posed to public health by pesticide residues and industrial toxins. From the economic costs of pollution to the health threats posed by the growing contamination of soil, air groundwater and river systems in India.

The new lords of misrule

Last fortnight, we began discussing ‘authorities’, and asked: Is this variant of governance reform working? This time, let’s consider the Food Safety and Standards Authority (fssa). It was created because of a recommendation of the Joint Parliamentary Committee which investigated our report on pesticide content in soft drinks and the lack of standards to regulate contamination in food.

Who has framed the Food Safety and Standards Bill, the government or the industry?

When Parliament convenes for the monsoon session, the government plans to introduce the Food Safety and Standards Bill, 2005. I am sure the government will hope there is enough mayhem to distract the attention of legislators from the bill, which has been crafted carefully to weaken consumer protection in the face of the power of the growing business of food. Food we know is a sunshine industry. And industry tells government that the regulatory regime is cumbersome and corrupt. This, it adds, strangles the industry. These arguments are correct.

bhopal judgement

It is difficult to imagine how a greater tragedy could occur to a peace time population than the deadly gas leak in Bhopal on the night of December 2-3, 1984.

An Industry of Death Wins

A hard-hitting exposé by CSE on how the pesticide industry connived with government officials and scientists in Kerala to successfully lift the ban on a deadly pesticide. At stake here is the integrity of the state government's decision-making for generations far into the future. It not only spells irreparable harm for the residents of Kerala, but also makes a mockery of public health concerns.

bhopal

India's Supreme Court facilitates USD 470 million settlement between Union Carbide Corp. and Government of India for compensating victims of Bhopal gas tragedy. Court terminates all civil and criminal cases against Union Carbide officials.

Bhopal

Supreme Court rejects plea for review of USD 470 million settlement between Indian government and Union Carbide. Reinstates criminal proceedings against UCC Chairman and officials.

Pesticides is the point, not bottled water or soft drinks

In February, we released a study on pesticide residues in bottled water being sold in the market. We reported how we found legalised pesticides in bottled water. In other words, the norms for regulating pesticide levels in these bottles were so designed that pesticide residues would not be detected.

Where poison flows in the veins...

Chandigarh, June 7, 2005: A study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a New Delhi-based research and advocacy organisation, has found very high levels of pesticide residues in human blood samples taken from Punjab villages. The study conducted by the Centre’s Pollution Monitoring Laboratory appears in the fortnightly newsmagazine Down To Earth (June 15, 2005).