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Indians welcome plan to ban pesticide

Church now calls on Delhi for timetable to scrap endosulfan

Indians welcome plan to ban pesticide
An endosulfan victim in Bobykanam village in Kasargode district of Kerala
George Kommattathil, Kasargod

May 2, 2011

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Church leaders in India have welcomed the proposal to globally ban the use of insecticide endosulfan, blamed for several deaths and health problems. A meeting of the UN-backed Stockholm Convention from April 25-29 in Geneva finalized a draft proposing global ban on endosulfan with exemptions including a five-year reprieve to implement the ban. “The Church is rejoicing over the proposal. We are happy to be part of the struggle to ban it,” said Moran Mor Basalious Cleems Catholicose, head of the Syro-Malankara Church. Regretting India’s “pro-endosulfan attitude,” he said the pesticide should be banned without any delay as the five-year period is “too long.” “I do not understand why our country favors endosulfan even after widespread protest across Kerala,” he said. He demanded the government to enact a timetable to ban the insecticide from India and at the same time come out with alternatives. Endosulfan has been used in agriculture around the world to control pests including whitefly, aphids, leafhoppers, Colorado potato beetles and cabbage worms. It was in use until 1981 in cashew plantations in Kasargode district of Kerala where its use has affected people inf 11 villages. Abdul Khader Kattipilla, father of an endosulfan victim in the district, said he is happy to hear about the ban. “Now I will die in peace because I am sure that it will not happen to anyone any more,” he said. His son Siraj Kattipilla has been parlayzed since birth due to the effects of the chemical. Father Thomas Therakam, spokesman of the Catholic Priests’ Conference of India, also welcomed the proposed ban. The National Council of Churches in India said that since endosulfan has been declared harmful worldwide, the federal government should ban it immediately. The government should also strive to adopt and promote eco-friendly pesticides from bio-products, it added. Related report Malankara head joins pesticide campaign IB14055

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