Pesticides and Good Agriculture Practices
Pesticides regulations are governed in India under following Acts/Rules:
- The Insecticides Act, 1968 and Rules, 1971
- The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
- Hazardous Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 1989
- Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
- Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
- Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
- The Factories Act, 1948
- Bureau of Indian Standards Act
The Committee has been informed that pesticides Consumption in some of the major countries, is as follows:
From the above it is noted that in India pesticide consumption is far less vis-a-vis other Countries. However, we have the problem of pesticide residue in food products, which mainly percolate from fruit and agriculture crops wherein pesticides are used to kill pests. Giving reasons for more pesticide residue in food products in India vis-a-vis other countries, representative of CSE during her evidence before the Committee stated that other countries were using degradable pesticides. Pesticides used by them are not persistent. However in India due to more use of persistent pesticide, their residues remain in food products.
Due to problem of persistence of pesticide residues in food and agricultural products, as
also lack of awareness on the part of farmers with regard to judicious use of pesticides, the Committee called for detailed information from the Ministry of Agriculture, Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee, which are the Government agencies entrusted with the task of registration, regulation and usage of pesticides in the country. Their representatives were also called before the Committee to tender their oral evidence on the subject.
As per a note furnished to the Committee by the Ministry of Agriculture pesticides mainly enter into food products due to following reasons:
Indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides
Non-observance of prescribed waiting periods
Use of sub-standard pesticides
Wrong advice and supply of pesticides to the farmers by pesticide dealers
Continuance of DDT and other uses of pesticides in Public Health Programmes
Effluents from pesticides manufacturing units
Wrong disposal of left over pesticides and cleaning of plant protection equipments
Treatment of fruits and vegetables
Use and Regulation of Insecticides and Pesticides
The Ministry of Agriculture regulates the manufacture, sale, import, export and use of pesticides through the ‘Insecticides Act, 1968’ and the rules framed there under. Central Insecticides Board (CIB) constituted under Section 4 of the Act advises Central and State Governments on technical matters. The Registration Committee (RC) constituted under Section 5 of the Act approves the use of pesticides and new formulations to tackle the pest problem in various crops. The monitoring of pesticides residue levels in food comes under the purview of Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Insecticides Act, 1968
The Insecticides Act, 1968 regulates import, manufacture, sale, transport and distribution and use of insecticide, with a view to prevent risk to human beings or animals and the matters connected therewith. This Act was passed by the Parliament in the Nineteenth year of Republic of India and came into force on 01.03.1971.
Central Insecticides Board (CIB)
A Central Insecticide Board (CIB) has been constituted under Section 4 of the Insecticides Act, 1968 to advise Central Government and State Governments on technical matters viz.:
- Safety measures necessary to prevent risk to human beings or animals in manufacture, sale, storage, distribution and use;
- Assess suitability for aerial application;
- Specify shelf-life;
- Advise residue tolerance limit and waiting period;
- Suggest colorization;
- Recommend inclusion of chemicals/substances in the Schedule or insecticide;
Other functions incidental to these matters.
Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is ex-officio Chairman of CIB. Board consists of 28 members, out of which 16 are ex-officio and 12 are nominated members.
Registration Committee (RC)
A Registration Committee (RC) has been constituted under Section 5 of the Insecticides
Act, 1968 to register insecticides after scrutinizing formulae, verifying claims of efficacy and safety to human beings and animals, specify the precautions against poisoning and any other function incidental to these matters. To assess efficacy of the insecticides and their safety to human beings and animals, the RC has evolved exhaustive guidelines/data requirements which inter-alia includes residue in crops on which the insecticides are intended to be used. The onus lies with the importers/manufacturers to generate data relating to the insecticides for which registration is sought. The Committee was informed that so far 181 pesticides have been registered for regular use in the country.