Kerala

Pesticide lobby defeated: VS

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said here on Friday that people's movements in Kerala and other States had forced the Centre to change its stand at the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Reports and photographs taken to the Convention from Kerala and media reports had also helped. “It was not just a campaign against the Centre but also one to create awareness of the dangers of the pesticide,” the Chief Minister said expressing happiness over the development. “The resistance has succeeded and the strategies of the pesticide lobby had been defeated by the will of the people.”

Mr. Achuthanandan alleged that the pesticide lobby had influenced some Union Ministers. It was the pesticide lobby which controlled officials also. However, this time it did not work because of popular pressure.

He added that the Central government had been playing with the lives of people. It was not willing to assist in providing compensation to the victims as recommended by the National Human Rights Commission.

Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy demanded that Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy clarify how Endosulfan manufacturers were given an opportunity to do lobbying in Geneva. The pesticide lobby was working as if it was part of the Indian delegation to the Stockholm Convention. The conspiracy between the lobby and officials had already come out and even Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran had deplored it.

She said that independent observers from Kerala to the convention had helped in presenting in Geneva the details of the tragedy in Kerala and the measures taken by the State government. They had even faced threats while in Geneva from lobbyists. Questions whether a Kerala government official, Mohammed Asheel, could be independent observer at the Convention was irrelevant. He had succeeded in portraying the realities.

She maintained that the Opposition leader was reacting to the humanitarian issue without giving it due importance. This was to favour the pesticide lobby.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 12:53:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/Pesticide-lobby-defeated-VS/article14906782.ece

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