Some farmers have died due to pesticide poisoning in Maharashtra and still they are using these high toxicity pesticides. Many debates and awareness workshops have opened up over the rationale of using all such deadly pesticides here and that too when the world has already restricted them. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a non-profit organization based in New Delhi, has been campaigning for stricter regulation of pesticides. The restriction on the most toxic pesticides classified as ‘Class I’ by the World Health Organisation. Class I pesticides form about one-third of the pesticides consumed in India.
Monocrotophos was one of the pesticides connected with the death of farmers in Maharashtra in 2017. The situation was grave since 5,000-7,000 people die every year of poisoning due to accidental intake of pesticides in India.
Public interest litigation filed in the Supreme Court by Kavitha Kuruganti, national convenor, seeking review of 104 pesticides permitted in India. But banned or severely restricted in other countries.
After the death toll of Maharashtra farmers, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare banned 18 pesticides on the recommendation of Anupam Verma, scientist of IARI, under the Pesticides (Prohibition) Order in 2018. Of these 18, 12 pesticides have been banned from immediate effect from August 9, 2018 and ban on another six will be implemented from December 31, 2020. The restriction applies to registration, import, manufacture, formulation, transport, sale and use of all these pesticides.