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Scrutiny
  
Government’s Culpable Homicide
With not One Toxicity Testing Lab, The Government is Committing a Crime
09/12/2010

A few weeks back, numerous media reports exposed the presence of banned pesticides in fruits and vegetables in India which endanger the lives of consumers. Improper and non-scientific usage of pesticides like chlordane, endrin and heptachor during agriculture is quite rampant in our country. Since most farmers don’t have an idea about appropriate measures of pesticide that should be used during cultivation, they end up using harmful and banned pesticides in agriculture. Excess usage of such toxic pesticides may lead to development of various neurological problems, kidney damage and skin diseases among consumers.

As per a November 2010 study conducted by NGO Consumer-Voice India, eatables have 750 times more pesticides in India as compared to global standards. Indian farmers also practice externally injecting hormones into vegetables and fruits to ripen them faster. Illegal use of the drug Oxytocin in fruits and vegetables has been reported across the country. Oxytocin is a drug generally used to induce childbirth and lactation in females. Chemicals like copper sulphate are used to give artificial colour and shine (freshness) to fruits and vegetables, which again have serious health implications. Accumulation of heavy metals like lead, cadmium and chromium in vegetables has been regularly reported. Such drugs, which are also used to mislead consumers into believing that the produce is fresh can cause serious health problems.

But the icing on the cake is that there is practically no specialised facility available in the country to test the presence of such chemicals. Neither has the government moved into a compulsory regular approach to training farmers; the current Krishi Vigyan Kendras are still serving only their titular function. And each day that passes with Sharad Pawar not focusing on these issues, is akin to culpable homicide by the government.

By:- Sray Agarwal
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