Restriction of Glyphosate

The Indian Government officially restricted the use of popular herbicide glyphosate.

What is glyphosate?

Glyphosate is an herbicide that is applied on the leaves to kill both broadleaf plants and grasses. It is a non-selective herbicide that can kill almost all plants by stopping them from producing specific proteins required for their growth. Sodium salt form of this herbicide is used to regulate the plant’s growth and ripen specific crops.

What are the new rules on the use of glyphosate in India?

The Indian Government officially restricted the use of the glyphosate due to fears of health risks to humans and animals. The new rules permit only pest control operators to apply glyphosate. Pest control operators are licensed to use deadly chemicals for eliminating pests like rodents. The new government order is expected to cause challenges due to the absence of the pest control operator system at the cultivation areas. Adding of the pest control operator could increase cost of the herbicide significantly, which would adversely affect farmers to a large extent.

To implement the new order, all certificates of registration for the manufacturing or selling of glyphosate must be returned to the registration committee within three months. If any company fails to return the registration certificate within deadline, the government will take necessary actions against it under the Insecticides Act of 1968.

Where is glyphosate used in India?

The glyphosate is a popular herbicide in India. Its usage became popular in the country after the illegal cultivation of Ht BT cotton started. It is mainly used in tea plantations to control the growth of unwanted plants. It is also used in non-crop areas to prevent plant growth. It is used alongside irrigation channels, railway sidings, fallow land, bunds, farm borders, parks, industrial and military premises, airports, power stations etc.

Why is glyphosate being banned in several countries?

Glyphosate is banned because of its potential link to cancer and its role in causing deaths of important insects like bees. Its usage caused rapid decline in insect population, which damaged ecosystem by disrupting food chain and plant pollination.

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