Even after 500 deaths, No move to ban Endosulfan

published on November 6, 2010

Endosulfan: One more dies in Kasaragod
VR Jayaraj | Kochi – Daily Pioneer

Endosulfan claimed yet another victim on Saturday in Kerala’s Kasaragod district, which had been suffering the ill-effects of the pesticide for the past three decades even as the Centre would constitute a fresh committee to study the ill-effects of the pesticide, only to be criticized by leaders of his own Congress party

Twenty-two-year-old Kavitha of Badiyadukka, Kasaragod died on Saturday at a hospital where she was admitted on Thursday. Kavitha had been living he life of a dumb since childhood with enlarged tongue which her mouth would not to contain. She was admitted to the hospital due to high fever and intense itching all over the body.

Kavitha’s house was situated in one of the 11 panchayats that had been bearing the brunt of the Endosulfan-spraying since 1980. Her father Rangappa Naik also had died of ailments caused by the pesticide. Kavitha’s brother Narayanan is a victim of mysterious diseases caused by Endosulfan.

About 500 people have died so far in Kasaragod allegedly due to Endosulfan-induced ailments and more than 2,500 people are still living in the district with various kinds of diseases, including deformities, reproductive problems, etc. Just two weeks ago, another 22-year-old, Rabiya, had died of such ailments in Kasaragod.

Despite such tragic occurrences in Kasaragod, New Delhi has consistently opposed suggestions to ban the pesticide. India had opposed a proposal for ban on the pesticide at the sixth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants’ Review Committee of the Stockholm Convention in Stockholm in the second week of October.

At the same time, Union Minister of State for Agriculture KV Thomas, who had recently stirred a hornets’ nest by stating that studies so far had failed to prove that Endosulfan caused health problems, said in Kochi on Saturday that the Centre would appoint a fresh committee to study the effects of the pesticide.

Stating that the Centre had an open approach towards the Endosulfan issue, he said a permanent system for monitoring the effects of Endosulfan would be formulated. “The new committee to study the matter is being constituted but the formal announcement can be made only in Parliament,” Thomas said.

Senior Congress leader and anti-Endosulfan crusader VM Sudheeran responded to Thomas’s statement saying there was no need for a new committee. “Ask me if there should be a new committee. I will say no,” he said in Kasaragod.

“There are enough evidences, findings and documents before us already. The greatest evidences of the ill-effects of Endosulfan are its victims. A new study does not have any relevance at all,” he said.

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