Udupi-based Human Rights Protection Foundation has presented evidence to the Supreme Court on alternative technology available for neutralising the toxicity in the existing stocks of the banned pesticide, endosulfan.
This is even as the Supreme Court-appointed Joint Experts Committee recommended that the use of endosulfan can be permitted for two more years to exhaust the available stock.
Speaking to presspersons here on Friday, Shanbhag, former professor of pharmacology at Manipal University and president of the foundation, said that the experts committee had argued that incinerating existing stocks is time-consuming and expensive.
The foundation has, in its evidence submitted to the Supreme Court, said that chemical degradation is not the only way for neutralising the chemical and that scientists have developed several biological methods which need to be studied. Scientists in South Korea and the United States had done research on this, he added.
“Endosulfan should not be allowed to be used for another two years as recommended just to help the manufacturers exhaust their stocks as the damage it will cause to human beings is enormous when compared to the loss that the manufacturers may suffer because of a ban on its use,” said Dr. Shanbhag.
Dr. Shanbhag said that Karnataka Cashew Development Corporation, which earlier said that it sprayed the pesticide only in Belthangady taluk of Dakshina Kannada, has now admitted to spraying it in the villages of Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts as well.
“While a survey is going on in Dakshina Kannada to find those affected by it, the process is yet to begin in the other two districts,” he said.
Human Rights Protection Foundation and Kengal Hanumanthaiya Smaraka Samiti are holding a seminar at the Government Science College Auditorium in Bangalore on December 16, where issues related to victims of endosulfan will be debated and a film on them screened.