Pesticide deaths

The use of banned pesticides and pesticides not meant for use for particular crops have taken the lives of 32 farmers in Maharashtra, while as many as 800 have fallen seriously ill and  40 are fighting for their lives. The Maharashtra Government has booked three pesticide companies for this. The use of pesticides for raising crop production has become widespread. The manufacturing companies are out to make a fast buck without the least regard for the lives of the farmers who use these. How the manufacturers managed to rope in the distributors for selling such stuff among the farmers needs to be found out. The distributors are no less guilty than the manufacturers. The possible collusion of agriculture department officials also needs a thorough inquiry. Those who have died or are suffering are the direct victims. What about those countless thousands or lakhs who will consume crops treated with such pesticides without knowing that they are taking poison? And these may be people living in States other than Maharashtra.
The use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers has become unavoidable because of population rise. But the long-term effect is hardly taken into account. Prolonged use of chemical fertilizers reduces soil fertility whereas the pesticides are absorbed by the plants and ultimately find their way into the humans consuming such crops. There have been reports that the absorption of some pesticides into the human body causes cancer and other diseases. It is also known that organic manure is the best manure. But the price and the availability of organic manures stand in the way of their being bought and used by the farmers. The unsuspecting citizenry are being constantly forced to take food crops treated with harmful pesticides, medicines banned but freely produced and prescribed by physicians, inhale air which is extremely polluted and poisonous. But they are helpless. They are at the receiving end – always.
The huge corporations that make pesticides, fertilizers and drugs are out for making profit. As long as the moolah comes, human lives are expendable commodities. These corporations have so much money that they can easily influence the political masters and the bureaucracy to give in to their importunities. The same is true for genetically modified (GM) crops. The seeds and the fertilizers for the GM crops have to be compulsorily bought from the corporate bodies making them. After raising several crops the seeds can no longer be used and the soil treated with the special fertilizers render it unusable for raising any other crop. The tragedy is that nobody is in the least concerned with the enormity of the problem and the cost in terms of human lives.

Saturday, 14 October, 2017