India supports listing of pesticide

The Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention, meeting in Geneva, decided to list endosulfan under annex III to the Convention on Friday.

This makes prior informed consent of importing countries necessary for export of the pesticide. India, an exporter, did not object to listing of the pesticide.

India exports half of its annual production of around 9000 tonnes of endosulfan. However, production was stopped temporarily this month on orders from the Supreme Court on a petition filed by the Democratic Youth Federation of India, citing harmful health effects of the pesticide.

The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade is aimed at helping poor countries in managing potentially hazardous chemicals imported by them.

The Conference postponed a decision on listing of chrysotile (white asbestos) to its next meeting as no consensus could be reached. However, a declaration was drafted by Australia and signed by many of the country-delegates seeking to pursue voluntary exchange of information. Canada (besides some other countries) had strongly opposed the listing of asbestos without stating its reasons even while agreeing that the scientific criteria for listing had been met.

On Thursday, the European Union expressed severe disappointment over the failure of discussions on asbestos and thanked India for changing its stand and supporting its listing. India initially objected to the listing of asbestos.