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Govt to ban pesticides harming bees

Times of India, Delhi, 26th August 2014

The fertiliser ministry is likely to soon recommend a ban on the use of a pesticides that are harmful for bees, particularly honeybees. Fertilizer minister Ananth Kumar on Monday said one such pesticide which is being used across the country has been banned in other countries. Kumar said he will write to the agriculture ministry to ban its use. He did not name the pesticide. But government officials and farmers, who attended a conference on agro-chemicals organized by Ficci, said the pesticide widely used is "Imidacloprid" and is produced by two major global players. "When the same pesticide has been banned in the United States and by European Food Safety Authority, why should it be allowed in our fields?" asked Krishan Bir Chaudhry, president of Bhartiya Krishak Samaj.


Sources said even a Cabinet minister is in favour of banning this pesticide that is killing the bees. Imidacloprid is a systemic insecticide that acts as an insect neurotoxin and belongs to a class of chemicals called the neonicotinoids. This acts on the central nervous system of insects with much lower toxicity to mammals. Earlier, Kumar said the end of bees would have serious repercussion on food production as it would hit pollination. "The biggest challenge in front of us today is whether our pesticides and insecticides are complementary to our mother nature... so we will study and if it is found that there are some pesticides and insecticides which are a threat to our nature and biodiversity, we will recommend for banning them to the agriculture ministry," he said. The minister also said the government proposed to come out with a new holistic fertilizer policy. He said a task force of experts would be constituted soon to frame the new policy.