Taking suo motu cognisance of a media report about rampant use of banned pesticides in vegetable and fruits, the Delhi High Court has issued notices to the Union and Delhi governments.

The report quoting a study on use of banned pesticides by farmers conducted by non-government organisation Consumer Voice said the amount of pesticides used in India was as much as 750 times the European standards. Out of five internationally banned pesticides, four were found to be common in vegetables and fruits, the report said quoting the study.

These pesticides cause headache and affect fertility and can damage kidney and liver, the report said. “It is difficult to perceive how the community would react to such a situation when it is asserted that there has been an authentic research which shows that vegetables and fruits have become highly toxic because of the process of growing and preservation,'' the Bench observed.

“If we allow ourselves to say so, the said article is likely to convert a normal being into a hypochondriac. It is said hypochondria can eventually lead to neurotic disorders and obsessed melancholia,'' the Court said.

The Bench has asked the respondents to file replies by December 1.