In report submitted to the Supreme Court

The Joint Expert Committee on ‘endosulfan,' in its report submitted to the Supreme Court, has said that the manufacturers have export orders for 1,734 mt of ‘endosulfan technical' and 292.5 kl of ‘formulation,' which can be allowed for export.

The court, in its order on August 8, had asked the committee, under the Indian Council of Medical Research, to address the court on four issues — total quantity of endosulfan manufactured; total quantity that could be exported in terms of pending export orders; the countries to which it could be exported and steps that could be taken for disposal of the balance quantity of endosulfan.

Case filed by DYFI

The case filed by the Democratic Youth Federation of India comes up for further hearing before a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia on September 23. Acting on this petition, the court had on May 13 banned the production and sale of endosulfan in the country.

In its interim report, the committee said: “The total quantity of endosulfan technical grade available with manufacturers and formulators is 1,090.596 mt. The available formulations are 2,698.56 kl and 60.625 mt dust. In addition, raw material in the form of hexa chloro cyclo pentadiene (HCCP) is also lying with the manufacturers which is equivalent to 4,071.21 mt of endosulfan technical.”

It said: “These manufacturers and formulators have export orders of 1,734 mt of endosulfan technical and 292.5 kl of formulation. Hence these can be exported.” Regarding the countries to which exports could be made, it said exports could be made to all countries where the use of endosulfan was still permitted.

Adhere to Rotterdam

While making it clear that the entire production could be exported, it said no export should take place in contravention of the provisions of the Rotterdam Convention on prior informed consent procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade.

On disposal of balance stock, the report said: “As per the Stockholm Convention, there is a provision of one plus five years of phasing out with an optional additional five years.”

The United States Environmental Protection Agency “is also phasing out endosulfan by the year 2016. During this phase-out period, imports of raw materials are stopped and the available raw materials are used to manufacture the end product. This ensures utilisation of all the raw materials for consumption by the domestic or international markets.”

No definite procedure

It said: “For the disposal of endosulfan, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has not provided any definite procedure. The industry has no experience as they have facility for incineration only for treating effluent which carries a very small component of endosulfan.”

In the first interim report, the committee maintained that except in Kerala and Karnataka the ban might not be imposed because no negative impact of this pesticide on crops, human and animal health and environment had been reported in these States.

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