Intense awareness about Glyphosate in local languages is key(AFP (Representative Image))
Intense awareness about Glyphosate in local languages is key(AFP (Representative Image))

Clamping down on Glyphosate availability first step to curb use

Meanwhile, the US Environmental Protection Agency, in a draft biological evaluation, says Glyphosate is likely to cause harm to or kill 93% of endangered species there.
By Bharati Chaturvedi | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON NOV 30, 2020 03:45 AM IST

The NGO, Pesticide Action Network, recently released a report on how India uses Glyphosate, a herbicide. We know toxics regulation in India- and most parts of the world- is lax. So while the report was a reminder to act, its revelations were no surprise. About 77% of the surveyed farmers used glyphosate to control weeds in crops, but it was not approved for these crops. That apart, Glyphosate is not in the list of residues monitored in India in our food. A common and illegally used toxic chemical is poisoning us, but we don’t even try to monitor it.

Meanwhile, the US Environmental Protection Agency, in a draft biological evaluation, says Glyphosate is likely to cause harm to or kill 93% of endangered species there. The press release mentioned the Monarch Butterfly which migrates annually over 3600 kilometers from Canada to Mexico. Glyphosate could end this natural wonder.

Let’s come back to India, our own country with extraordinarily rich biodiversity. It is reasonable to assume that our own biodiversity is also imperiled by Glyphosate. Three steps are essential. First, a tight clampdown on its availability. Six states have restricted its use, but this is not enough. Second, weed management must change- MNREGA should include weeding as part of its allowed tasks, to offset labour costs that promote herbicides today. Natural weed-management should be promoted, even by eliminating GM crops causing this. Third, intense awareness about Glyphosate in local languages is key. We must fix the problem fast.

(The writer is Founder and Director, Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group)
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Actor Deep Sidhu addresses farmers at Ghazipur in New Delhi. (PTI)
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Hundreds of farmers climbed the ramparts of Red Fort and hoisted religious flags (the Nishan Sahib of Sikhs), vandalised almost anything they could lay their hands on, fought a pitched battle with the police, throwing some of them into trenches, and tried to ram tractors into others.(PTI Photo)
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Farmers brave tear gas shells fired by Delhi Police during the tractor march from Tikri border, at Nangloi Crossing, in New Delhi. (Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)
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People gather before taking part in a tractor rally to protest against farm laws in Bengaluru(Reuters)
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The ultimate blame has to lie with the farmers, and their leaders, who are now saying how certain unions did not agree with the plans for the tractor rally decided mutually with Delhi Police and took matters into their own hands.(AP Photo)
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