Posted by: Chloe Schwabe | May 2, 2011

NCC India calls for pesticide ban

Last week government representatives met in Geneva and decided to ban the insecticide endosulfan under the international Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) treaty. A “POP” persists for a long time in the environment and can travel far distances, ending up in the bodies of people as faraway as the Arctic.

The use of this chemical has caused many chronic health problems such as paralysis, intellectual and developmental delays, birth defects, early puberty in girls or delayed puberty in boys, cancer, and even death. Under the POPs decision, some uses will stop within a year and others will be phased out over a six year period. The United States voted to join the POPs treaty but they have yet to ratify it. That said, the Environmental Protection Agency is also looking at how to end the use of endosulfan after movement to ban it globally gained momentum.

Thousands of people in the Indian state of Kerala, where endosulfan is used on cashew plants, continue to suffer the harmful effects of this chemical.  The National Council of Churches in India released the following statement on the decision:

NCCI demands ban on use of endosulfan
Indian Churches endorse campaign against endosulfan

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) expresses its deep concern over permitting the use of endosulfan in India’s ultimate agriculture.
The NCCI endorses the campaign against endosulfan undertaken by the Indian Civil Society’s different fora, for quite some time now, demanding and pressing for a nationwide ban on the deadly pesticide – the use of which over the years left scores dead and forced several hundreds to live with chronic health problems in many parts of India
NCCI acknowledges and endorses the decision of the Stockholm conference to ban endosulfan. Realizing the grim danger posed by the pesticide to living beings and nature, it had been banned by 80 countries.  NCCI demands that the Government of India inform the Nation as to why the UPA Government at the Centre is still reluctant to take action?
NCCI expresses disappointment over the statement of the Honorable Minster for Environment and Forest that Government of India would study it and if needed ban endosulfan. NCCI is of the opinion that there is no need for further studies to establish the grievous consequences of endosulfan as the experience of Kerala has sufficiently brought out that aspect. Instead of rooting for researches on endosulfan it should be banned immediately.

NCCI demands that the Government of India, especially the Ministry of Environment and Forest, should have a perpetual quest for assuring healthy agricultural products and improving the standards by banning harmful fertilizers. Since endosulfan has been declared harmful worldwide, the Government of India should also do likewise and assure the health and safety of the Indian society.
The Government of India’s Agriculture Ministry should also strive to adopt and promote eco-friendly pesticides from bio-products.

NCCI Commission on Justice, Peace and Creation
The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) is an expression of 30 National Churches –  their mission networks agencies and institutions all over the country, 17 Regional Councils of Churches, 17 All India Christian Organisations, 7 Related Agencies, and 3 Autonomous Ecumenical Bodies. The Council coordinates with the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) and the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) to represent the Christian population of the country.


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