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LMIPPE February 2002

The Centre for Science and Environment found very high levels of endosulfan in all the samples it had collected a month after the last spray.

Muthakka Shetty, a 50 year old farm women had 161 ppm of endosulfan residue in her blood, 18 times the residue detected in the water from the stream near her home. This was 900 times the MRL for water.

10

Thanal

possible diseases that could be caused by endosulfan. Central nervous system disorders - psychiatric cases , disease, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, mental congenital anomalies, Reproductive system Parkinson’s retardation,

disorders, infertility, hormonal disturbances, asthma and

respiratory

problems,

skin

diseases,

gynecological

problems, cancer of the liver, throat, blood and uterus were just some of them. The people then approached the NRCC and KAU enquiring whether they had done any study of long term efficacy of endosulfan on the pests, long term toxicity studies on the people and environment. Both had never done any studies and maintained a silence on these queries. The truth was that PCK had also never in the last 26 years done even the mandatory medical examination of the workers.

The groups then tried to get in touch with other scientific labs in the country to find out whether it was possible to find out if the area was contaminated.

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) from New

Delhi finally responded collect the samples and was done by a team led

and sent their researchers to

analyze by Dr.

at their lab.

The study

Padma

S

Vankar,

Senior

scientist in charge Analytical Testing at

of the

the Facility for Ecological and IIT, Kanpur. The sample collection

was

supervised

by

prominent

scientists

and

witnessed

by

local

people

and

leaders.

25

samples

were

picked

from

the

village.

The

study

found

alarming

level

of

endosulfan

in

all

the

samples.

They

publicly

released

the

report

in

February

2001. The report was Environment magazine

also carried in their Science

  • Down to Earth (Attachment

and

  • -

    5)

Not only was this a shocking revelation, but showed what public-interest science was transparency and responsibility.

the all

CSE also about –

Several cases were now filed at different courts Munsif Court and High Court. The Munsif Kasargod suspended all pesticide applications in

taluk

in

February

2001.

The

CSE

report,

which

including Court of Kasargod was only

an

exercise

to

find

evidence

and

alert

the

public,

succeeded in bringing a lot of national attention to the problem, mostly through

and international the media.

The Cashew Export Promotion Council immediately responded and wrote to the Directorate of Cashew and Cocoa of the Government of India and they in consultation with NRCC advised PCK to refrain from aerial spraying. The NRCC then sent a notification to all the Cashew growing agencies in the country withdrawing the recommendation for endosulfan use in Cashew.

Soon after, a KAU team of experts rushed to the field, collected samples and visited a number of families affected by the diseases. They alleged that the CSE study is not scientific. The report of the KAU study has also not been published, even after an year. Still, ESPAC could get the report of the scientific teams visit that was submitted internally and have produced a scathing and highly critical white paper on this report, exposing the hypocrisy of the KAU team of scientists.

The Kerala Government

has

meanwhile

upheld

the

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