TN NGO denies high pesticide content in vegetables

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015,21:48 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Chennai | Stoutly denying Kerala Agricutlural University’ Vice-Chancellor Dr P Rajendran’s charge that vegetables from Tamil Nadu contained high levelS of pesticides, the Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI), an NGO in the agrochemical sector, today said it had sent a legal notice to him and Kerala Food Safety Commission for their baseless charges.
Addressing a crowded press conference here, CCFI Chairman Rajju Shroff and CCFI Public and Policy Advisor S Ganesan said the Kerala’s charge were unfounded and were not based on scientified facts.
Kerala has been heavily depended on neighbouring states, especially Tamil Nadu, for its food supplies, including grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and eggs.
Even going by the Kerala Government’s own data, the charges levelled were not true and was aimed at maligning farmers of Tamil Nadu and their agricultural practices through blatant lies and misrepresentation and suppression of facts.
Stating that Indian farmers very less content of pesticide — 500 gms per hectare as against 11 and six kg used by China and the US, they said the charge against Tamil Nadu farmers were unscientific, baseless and made with malafide intentions.
”Such allegations are being made without releasing the complete data. We have analyzed their own data and found their allegation to be totally false, misleading and malafide. We hold the office of Commissioner of Food Safety in Kerala and Kerala Agri University under legal obligation to withdraw their wild allegations that vegetables supplied from Tamil Nadu have excessive pesticide residues”, they said.
Pointing out that the issue has been brewing for the last months, they said the CFFI had written a letter to the Tamil Nadu Government in this regard on June 20.
Making public the residue monitoring study undertaken by the Kerala Agricultural University as part of all India network project on residue monitoring, they said the data showed that less than one per cent of the vegetables analyzed had pesticide residues above the Maximum Permissible Limit (MRL).
To a question, Mr Ganesan said the MRL varies from crop to crop and product to product. Mr Ganesan said Kerala has a history of unlawfully and arbitrarily blaming and banning pesticides without any scientific proof.
”CCFI senses nefarious role of certain foreign funded five star activists in this episode being staged in Kerala, he said.
He said the CCFI will be writing to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs regarding the suspected role of foreign funded NGOs. He also claimed that due to sustained neglect of scientific practices, Kerala today has become a state with chronic food insecurity.