The Punjab government has banned the sale of glyphosate, a herbicide which is extensively used in the State to control a wide variety of weeds in almost all the crops.
“This chemical has been observed to be a Group 2A cancer-causing material. Besides cancer, this chemical is also known for causing other health problems and has the potential to damage human DNA as per the opinion of experts from PGIMER, Chandigarh,” said an official statement here.
Glyphosate is sold in the country under various trade names such as Round-up, Excell, Glycel, Glider, Glydon, etc. The Punjab State Farmers Commission had also recommended a ban on the sale of the chemical in Punjab.
State Agriculture Secretary K.S. Pannu on Wednesday said that the Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee has recommended the use of the herbicide only for tea gardens and non-cropped areas and therefore there is a dire need for strict compliance under the Insecticides Act, 1968.
“There is no cultivation of tea in Punjab and on account of 200% crop intensity in the State, the non-cropped area is too meagre. Even this small area is associated with crop cultivation in the form of ridges, water channels, bunds and between rows of crops and canal and drain banks. Therefore, even this area is part of the cropped area for all practical purposes,” he said.
“All pesticide manufacturers, marketers and dealers in the State shall not sell glyphosate formulations-concentrations with immediate effect. The licensing authorities have been asked to take necessary steps for removal of entries for glyphosate from the licences issued by them,” he added.