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Pesticide Tragedy in Kerala

Endosulfan Spraying Exacts Deadly Toll in Kerala Village

For 10 years, a doctor struggled to understand it. Why were so many people - children in particular - in his Kerala village suffering from disorders of the central nervous system? Cerebral palsy, congenital anomalies and mental retardation, among other disorders. Then, one day in December 2000, he asked: Could it be the pesticide endosulfan? The effects of this toxin on human body are quite similar to the maladies he was seeing. The Plantation Corporation of Kerala has been spraying endosulfan for years in its neighbouring cashew plantations. Read the press releases from CAAM

CSE's special report shows that the area residents may have been subsidising government's cashew production with their lives. CSE got samples from Kerala analysed at its recently set up Environment Monitoring Laboratory. The amount of endosulfan was unbelievably high in all the samples. Blood, milk, water, soil, food. The amount of endosulfan in one woman's blood is 900 times the limit set for water. CSE released the shocking results of its laboratory analysis on samples brought from Padre village of Kerala, where a lot of unusual diseases related to the central nervous system have been reported, especially among children. See the full lab report (pdf) (Released February 21, 2001)

Read the news reports:
Indian villagers suffer serious health effects from governmental company's pesticides programme (March 2, 2001)
Children of Endosulfan: Down to Earth Special Report (February 28, 2001)
Omnipresent Poison (February 28, 2001)
CSE laboratory analysis strengthens suspicion that the Kerala pesticide tragedy is a Government corporation's creation (February 21, 2001)

Read this report on the Padre endosulfan tragedy and offer your comments.
India: Killer Diseases strike Kasaragod Village

For information on toxicity of endosulphan here are some sources:

For more information contact:
Shree Padre, Journalist,
Post Vaninagar, Via Perla 671552
Kerala State, INDIA
Tel : 91-499-866148 ; 91-8251-47234

Speak to the executives of the PCK and protest the poisoning of the villagers by their endosulfan apray.
Contact numbers of the Plantation Corporation of Kerala:
Mr. Bala Kurup, Manager of TPCK, Kasaragod. Phone: 91-499-450223.
Headquarters of TPCK: Managing Director's phone: 91-481-578301

Write a letter to your elected representatives urging them to take steps to promote safer alternatives. Example of a letter you can send.

An interesting ad was recently published by the Pesticide Manufacturers and Formulators Association of India, in the Times of India (Bangalore) recently. Although it doesn't say deny that Endosulfan is the cause, it implies that it is safe for use. See the excerpts of the ad below, and take action on it by snding an e-mail to the PMFAI President with your personal objections to the ad. (We shall provide a letter you can send soon,but a personal letter will carry more weight)


A section of the press had recently carried reports originating from one particularly village in Kerala about certain health problems allegedly arising out of aerial application of Endosulfan. This press release brings a few important facts to light in this connection.

* All pesticides undergo extensive safety testing before they are registered for commercial use. When used as recommended, registered pesticides do not pose an adverse impact on the environment and people.

* Endosulfan has been registered for commercial use in over 60 countries including USA, Japan and several European countries. The scientific findings of WHO/FAO experts and other regulatory authorities do not suggest that use of Endosulfan causes diverse health problems as alleged in the media.

This clarification is issued for the benefit of users and general public and to clarify the incorrect impression created by the media reports.


Issued by:
Pradeep Dave,
President Pesticide Manufacturers and Formulators Association of India
B-4, Anand Co-op Hsg Society Ltd, Sitladevi Temple Road, Mahim, Mumbai 400016.
Phone (022) 437 5279
Fax (022) 437 6856

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