Central Panel recommends to ban use of TB drugs on crops

The Registration Committee that was set up under the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIBRC) has recommended that TB drugs such as Streptomycin and Tetracycline should be completely banned on crops.

Highlights

The Registration Committee held its 114th meet on May 1, 2020. According to the report submitted by its subcommittee, 9% of Streptomycin sulphate and 1% of tetracycline hydrochloride is used on crops. According to the report generated, the drugs were used at its highest in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.

What is the issue?

The CIBRC allows the use of Streptocycline drug in eight crops. However, it is now found that it is being used on more crops as pesticides. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) had earlier recommended that none of the TB drugs should be used on crops. The order was shared with CIBRC as well.

Solution

The report has suggested to phase out use of the drugs by 2022 as no alternatives are now available for these drugs. The users, till then should use these antibiotics according to the label instructions.

Recommendations

The Registration Committee recommends to manage diseases and pests in crops through integrated pest management. The CIBRC has also recommended ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) to initiate research on better and safe practices.

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