THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Until recently, the committee on the manner of labelling of pesticides as per toxicity has been bright red, bright yellow, bright blue and bright green in India.
But now a new colour, orange, has been recommended by the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIB&RC) under the Union agriculture department.
But the agriculture scientists in the state are not aware why there has been a new classification and is apprehensive whether it will help the people or not.
It was the meeting convened by the Central Insecticides Board (CIB) held during early 2016 which urged that an expert committee should make amendments in the toxicity classification.
Their report was considered at the CIB meeting held during May this year where their recommendations were sent out to the stakeholders.
Toxicity level is undertaken on rats where lethal dose (LD) is maintained in such a manner to kill 50 per cent of the test animals. A senior agricultural scientist of Kerala Agriculture University, Vellayani, said that when Endosulfan was banned, three concentrations were tried on rats with varying doses. “We checked whether the farmer who sprays Endosulfan on plantations will face any kind of itching or uneasiness if the pesticide touches his body. Then we will be checking the toxicity level of red (less than 50 mg/kg, yellow (51 – 500 mg/kg), blue (501 – 5000 mg/kg and green (greater than 5000 mg/kg),” he told DC.
But now along with the existing yellow, a new classification with orange colour has been added on the toxicity level.
Earlier, there was an accepted policy of the Union government that only blue and green are safer to be propagated. “We are in the dark as to how this will benefit the people by bringing orange under the second category where one portion has been extracted from the blue classification,” he added....