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Issue 20
, 2009
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No proposal to ban Endosulfan: Pawar

Source: New India Express , Kochi, Date: , 2009

The Central Government is not proposing to ban the use of controversial insecticide endosulfan in the country, said Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function held to inaugurate the pilot project for replantation and rejuvenation of coconut palms on the main campus of Kerala Agricultural University, Vellanikkara, on 7 December. He said that a committee appointed by the Centre to study the health hazards caused by the application of the insecticide had not recommended its ban. The minister said that though some countries had banned the use of endosulfan, including the US, France and China had not banned the the chemical. “Moreover, endosulfan is found to be very effective in controlling insects in certain crops and the farmers of these crops are against the ban of this insecticide”, he said. Answering a question, Pawar said that India would have to continue the import of edible oils. He said that he was aware that the increase in the prices of coconut and coconut oil were causing concern among the farmers. There is also considerable apprehension and anxiety in the state about the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement. “I would like to assure the farmers that we have taken measures to safeguard their interests. At the same time, it is necessary to realise that there is a serious deficit of edible oil, to the tune of 5 million tonne, and therefore the import of edible oils may have to be continued until the domestic production increases”, the minister said.