Paraquat herbicide

News:Doctors in Odisha’s has urged the Odisha government to ban the paraquat herbicide that has killed around 170 people in the last two years. 


About Paraquat:

  • Paraquat is a toxic chemical that is widely used as an herbicide (plant killer) ,primarily for weed and grass control.
  • The herbicide has been banned in 32 countries including Switzerland, where herbicide producing company Syngenta is based.
  • Paraquat also figures on the list of 99 pesticides and herbicides that the Supreme Court is hearing to ban in an ongoing case.So far in India,only Kerala has banned the herbicide.
  • However,Paraquat is yet to be listed in the prior informed consent (PIC) of the Rotterdam Convention.

Why Paraquat should be banned?

  • There is no alternative treatment for people who have consumed this herbicide.
  • The consumers who has consumed it has complained of kidney, liver and lung problems.

Additional information:

About Rotterdam convention:

  • The Rotterdam Convention was adopted on 10 September,1998 in Rotterdam,the Netherlands.The Convention entered into force in 2004.
  • The convention is also known as the Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade.
  • India is a party to the convention with 161 other parties.
  • The convention aims to promote shared responsibilities in relation to importation of hazardous chemicals.
  • The convention provides open exchange of information and calls on exporters of hazardous chemicals to use proper labeling, include directions on safe handling and inform purchasers of any known restrictions or bans.
  • Further,the signatory nations can decide whether to allow or ban the importation of chemicals listed in the treaty and exporting countries are obliged to make sure that producers within their jurisdiction comply.