Gujarat based NGO Sishuvihar organized a press meet on April 21, 2011, in Ahmedabad to share details of a health study conducted by the Gujarat Health Ministry titled “Report of the Committee to Evaluate the Safety Aspects of Endosulfan”
Gujarat is an agriculturally important state and a leading producer of food grain, fruits, vegetables, cotton and oilseeds. Over 60 lac farmers of Gujarat are engaged in agriculture. Endosulfan is an important insecticide being used by farmers in Gujarat and has been safely used for over 40 years. However farmers in Gujarat were concerned about environmental groups seeking a ban on endosulfan on the grounds that exposure to endosulfan can cause health problems. As none of these farmers had any health issues relating to the use of endosulfan they were disturbed by these allegations. Demanding an enquiry into these allegations over 10,000 men, women and children held a rally in Bhavnagar on 15th November, 2010. They submitted a petition to the District Collector demanding an investigation.
As a number of women and children had participated in the rally, Sishuvihar, an NGO engaged in child welfare, made a representation to the Health Minister, Government of Gujarat with a request to address the demands of the people. On the basis of Sishuvihar’s representation, the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Gujarat constituted an expert committee to investigate the safety aspects of endosulfan. Shishuvihar is in receipt of a copy from the Department of Health & Family Welfare in response to their petition.
Quoting the report, Nanakbhai Bhatt of Shishuvihar stated, “After extensive investigations into the health and safety aspects of endosulfan and taking into account experiences and medical records and residue studies of farmers and workers exposed to endosulfan for a number of years the expert committee concluded that there are no health problems related to exposure to endosulfan.
“The committee concludes that there are no health problems that can be associated to the exposure of endosulfan and is satisfied that there is no occupational or safety issues arising out of exposure to endosulfan.”
As endosulfan is important to the agriculture and food security Sishuvihar is sharing the Gujarat Government study in the interest of the community at large.
Click on the link to see this report: