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Farmer organisations ask PM not to ban endosulfan

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New Delhi: A body of farmers' organisations has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh opposing any ban on the use of controversial pesticide endosulfan in the country.

The Federation of Indian Farmer's Organisations (FIFO), an umbrella group of farmers' organisations, alleged that some non-governmental organisations (NGO's) are lobbying hard for the ban on endosulfan.

"While scientists and farmers have been standing for the product due to it's being safe, economical and effective, certain NGOs under heavy foreign funding to them using media and even some public representatives, have been lobbying hard for its ban," FIFO alleged in the letter to the PM.

The letter further said that they are (NGO's), "unaware of the damage they are doing to Indian farmers and agriculture."

The farmer's group also alleged that environmental groups have been blaming endosulfan for health problems based on scientific studies that have been found to be scientifically incorrect.

Endosulfan, a pesticide introduced in the 1950s, is used for 70 crops, including vegetables, fruits, paddy, cotton, cashew, tea, coffee, tobacco and timber.

The pesticide courted controversy after reports of adverse effects on the inhabitants of areas in and around Padre village in Kerala's Kasargod district were found in 2001.

Presently endosulfan has been banned in Kerala and Karnataka.

The fifth Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), which is to consider global ban on endosulfan begun in Geneva yesterday.

More than 80 countries have banned endosulfan, but India's position is important as the country is the biggest endosulfan supplier in the world with an annual production of 9,000 tonnes.





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