ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), a non-governmental organisation, has urged the Centre to immediately ban pesticide Endosulfan.

Indiscriminate use of the chemical in cashew groves in Kasargod district and adjoining areas in Kerala for several years has reportedly left many local people with deformities and genetic disorders. The issue had led to a series of agitations in the State by NGOs and political parties.

TWA convenor Gopal Krishna, in a petition to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), recalled the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) as early as December 2010, suggesting a total ban on Endosulfan.

“I urge you to resist the unethical and immoral influence of Endosulfan manufacturers and protect the health of present and future generations by approving and endorsing a ban on Endosulfan,” Mr. Krishna said, adding that the Indian government take a concrete stand on banning the chemical in the upcoming Fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N.’s Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (COP-5) to be held during April 25-29 in Geneva.

NHRC had asked the Centre to “join the international consensus at the Geneva meeting and permit the listing of Endosulfan as an Annexe A chemical,” he said.

Meanwhile, members of the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), led by its general secretary Annie Raja, protested in front of Krishi Bhawan (Agriculture Ministry) on Wednesday demanding a ban on Endosulfan.

NFIW alleged that the Agriculture Ministry was safeguarding the interests of companies including multinational ones at the expense of people’s lives. A few students of Delhi University also joined the stir.

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