Pesticide Manufacturers Join Cola Row; Target CSE
Two associations representing pesticide
manufacturers send a legal notice to CSE saying it is giving a bad
name to pesticides
Mumbai, New Delhi: The cola war is heating up with more parties joining
the battle. Along with the cola companies, now pesticide manufacturers
are trying to prove the Delhi-based NGO, Centre for Science and Environment's
The Agrochemicals Promotions Group (APG) and the Crop Care Federation
of India, representing more than 200 leading Indian pesticide manufacturers,
have sent a legal notice to CSE.
"Though the pesticide industry had long back sent a legal notice to
CSE, there has been no response from their side," S Kumarasamy, chairman
of the APG said.
"The pesticide industry is committed to correct all the misconceptions
that the NGOs are spreading against pesticide and its usage in India,"
Kumarasamy clarified that every new molecule of pesticide is introduced
in the market only after a research of 8 to 10 years. "It takes an
investment of about Rs 1000 crores to do so. Ours is a highly regulated
industry at par with the pharmaceutical industry," he said.
He added that APG has studied the CSE's report and found that the
NGO is not at all equipped to handle such a complex study. "The NGO
does not have an accredited laboratory to undertake such studies which
are highly sophisticated in nature," Kumarasamy added.
CSE, reacting strongly to the APG's remarks, told Mumbai Mirror that
it had never received any 'legal notice' from APG. CSE Head (Food
Safety Campaign) Kushal Yadav said, "They have sent a letter to us
for certain clarifications. Who are they to question us and our study?
Our research is online. They should also show their data to people."
Yadav clarified that CSE has all necessary equipment to test contents
and extent of pesticides in food products. "The test on soft drinks
is a small part of our food safety campaign. We are also doing similar
tests for food products and will soon come out with their results,"
Meanwhile, the war of words has also begun between CSE and the Central
Government with the former accusing Health Minister Ambumani Ramadoss
of rushing to give cola companies a 'clean chit.' Responding to a
statement in Parliament by Ramadoss, questioning the validity of CSE's
findings, the NGO said, "The Health Minister is clearly more concerned
with industrial health - and not of the people."
In Parliament on Tuesday, Ramdoss said while results from Gujarat
and Mysore laboratories on two samples of water and two of carbonated
drinks have revealed that the pesticide residues were not above permissible
level, directions have been issued to state and the Central laboratories
to lift more samples of carbonated drinks and test them.
He said the Health ministry's expert committee held that "there was
no conclusive evidence on presence of different pesticides in the
FAIR USE NOTICE. This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. India Resource Center is making this article available in our efforts to advance the understanding of corporate accountability, human rights, labor rights, social and environmental justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.