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Supreme Court passes interim order to ban key cotton pesticide
May '11
India's supreme court on May 13th banned endosulfan, a key cotton crop pesticide. An interim order was issued to immediately ban the production, use and sale of endosulfan all over India.

On Friday, May 13th, a three member justices bench consisting of the Chief Justice of India heard the public interest writ petition filed by the Democratic Youth Federation of India against Union of India, Pesticides Manufacturers & Formulators Association of India and others.

The bench in hearing the arguments felt the need for a detailed report by an expert committee. An expert panel headed jointly by the Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research and Agriculture Commissioner has been constituted.

The court ordered for an interim report from the committee within 8 weeks, until then the endosulfan ban will be in place.

Endosulfan is banned in European Union, Australia, USA and many other countries. In June last year, the United States Environmental Protection Agency moved to ban endosulfan with all uses of endosulfan to be phased out by 2016.

India is the number one producer and exporter of endosulfan and has 80% of its market share.

The supreme court of India will take up this case in the second week after the summer vacation. Until then at least, this pesticide will be unavailable in India both for domestic and export usage.

Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

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