Pesticides and their regulation

Pesticides and other pollutants have been a cause of grave concern to all successive governments. Toxins from excessive use of pollutants, insecticides etc. often leads to undesirable changes in species diversity and abundance. Sources of environmental toxicity have multiplied in recent years. The government, despite lengthy regulations has not been able to control these in meaningful manner.

  • Government has many laws in place to counter the spread of toxins in the environment. These are: Environment Protection Act, 1986; Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974; The Pesticide Management Bill, 2008 etc.
  • There have been lengthy bureaucratic hurdles in effective implementation of laws. Government needs to apply a scientific approach along with the laws. There is lack of initiative on part of policy makers to spread awareness of the potential benefits. The program should be accompanied by provision of suitable and affordable options.
  • India also needs to develop a sound research analysis reports to find permissible pesticide residue levels based on Indian food intake. Indian food intake highly varies with the regions. Residue levels in India are about 150 times higher than in Europe.
  • Another important measure is to have robust workforce of food inspectors and quality control procedures. People should be made more aware of the harmful effects of pollutants and toxicants. Government should provide for alternatives at affordable prices by offering specific incentives for both producer and consumers.
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