Source: The Hindu, India, Oct 16, 2017:- Reports of farmers dying from pesticide exposure in
Maharashtra’s cotton belt in Yavatmal make it evident that the government’s
efforts to regulate toxic chemicals used in agriculture have miserably failed.
It is natural for cotton growers under pressure to protect their investments to
rely on greater volumes of insecticides in the face of severe pest attacks. It
appears many of them have suffered high levels of exposure to the poisons,
leading to their death. The fact that they had to rely mainly on the advice of
unscrupulous agents and commercial outlets for pesticides, rather than on
agricultural extension officers, shows gross irresponsibility on the part of
the government. But the problem runs deeper. The system of regulation of
insecticides in India is obsolete, and even the feeble efforts at reform
initiated by the UPA government have fallen by the wayside.