He is one of the few people willing to go on record against what he calls ‘one of the biggest scientific frauds’ he has seen. A lesson in how India handles scientific debate, Priyanka Pulla Some pesticide would fall into ponds and wells, but would settle to the sediment at the bottom, since endosulfan has low solubility in water. In its Kasaragod estate alone, the Plantation Corporation sprayed 31510 litres of endosulfan between 1990 and 2000. People living in more than 20 gram panchayats in Kasargod district were exposed to the insecticide endosulfan – a highly potent neurotoxin – between 1975 and 2000, when the public sector Plantation Corporation of Kerala sprayed the chemical aerially on its 12,000-acre cashew estates. Meanwhile, an association of countries grouped under the Stockholm Convention, which aims to eliminate the use of dangerous chemicals in the world, called for a global ban on endosulfan in 2009. This means that even if the study picks up the existence of a higher rate of disease in the villages, it does not prove that it was caused by endosulfan. If it was due to endosulfan, why didn’t this happen in all villages close to the cashew plantations?” he asks. Concentration of endosulfan in the top 7.5 cm of soil from Meencha was five times higher than in the study area. There were three exposure groups in NIOH study – (a) no exposure (b) low dose exposure and (c) high dose exposure. Both the populations should be comparable in terms of sex and age structure, ethnicity, food habits, life styles, social class etc. This district is famous for its cashew plantation. Kasaragod is known as the Land of Gods. To sum up, NIOH team did not find any increase in diseases prevalent in PCK villages and are associated with endosulfan in the public mind. According to rough estimate, some 50 to 100 centers need to be set up in the affected areas. Blood samples of boys and girls were analyzed for endosulfan products, chromosomal anomalies, and hormones related to growth, thyroid and reproductive system. This study, published in 2011, was no huge improvement. Study of climate change mitigation potential in organic farming. group”. The SC bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar also asked the state to consider setting up … CONTINUING DISASTER OF ENDOSULFAN IN KASARGOD AND KANNUR DISTRICTS OF KERALA, Between 1976 and 2000, more than 50,000 villagers of Kasargod district in Kerala, India have been exposed to endosulfan, a persistent organic pesticide, sprayed on the cashew plantations owned by the Plantation Corporation of Kerala. Saiyed H, Dewan A, Bhatnagar V, Shenoy U, Shenoy R, Rajmohan H, … It has linked a mind-boggling variety of diseases—ranging from autism to sterility to mental retardation—to a single chemical. Out of fear, the burglar stabs the wife. As a rule, soil, water and sediments in valleys will be higher than that in the foothills. Sayed Habibulla was the principal investigator. This was to eradicate tea mosquitoes in the cashew plantations. Compared to comprehensive till now, 2,836 victims as relief to endosulfan victims, but instead other districts in Kerala, northernmost were identified in 11 panchayats. India, Around the world and many more.. ‘Intimate Scenes Need Structure More than a Love Scene’. Asheel’s talk is peppered with words such as ‘gaba receptors’ and ‘COPD’ (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), medical terminology that will throw most lay people off. Use of Endosulphan in Kasaragod distric, Kerala, India Kasargod District is famous for its cashew plantations. To protect this crop, the pesticide endosulfan was used with heavy damage to human health. While the focus earlier was on Padre village, the health impacts are evident in people of nearly 11 panchayats in the district. In the legal framework of the day, the victims’ claims for compensation will have to be supported by epidemiological evidences. In Periya, there are only two persons with disabilities out of a total population of 9,388. Paediatricians examined the willing subjects for assessing the sexual maturity. Mony narrates the plot of a movie to explain the difference between association and causation. For over 20 years, cashew plantations in Kasargod district in Kerala used Endosulfan as a pesticide. Even suicide victims, who swallow endosulfan deliberately, have less than 10 parts per million in their blood. The Government of Kerala has directed the Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) for monitoring endosulfan persistence in soil, water and blood samples in the selected areas of Kasaragod District and its impacts on human health and environment vide G.O. Men and women in this area are now finding it difficult to find spouses, as stories of their tainted genes get around. He was friends with the same green activists with whom he is at loggerheads today. It means that endosulfan is classified along with notorious pesticides such as DDT and Dieldrin because of certain characteristics—a tendency to remain in soil without degrading for long periods of time, to accumulate in the bodies of living organisms, and to travel across long distances and cause harm to living beings. The Stockholm Convention has suggested malathion as one of the alternatives to endosulfan for use by India. The pesticide endosulfan was sprayed aerially for around 25 years in cashew plantations situated in Kasargod and caused severe diseases and extensive malformations among people living in the region. A portion of the data from this report was published in Environmental Health Perspective, a peer-reviewed published by the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. During the 1980s Sree Padre, farmer, environmentalist and water conservationist had reported an increase in diseases of cattle, which he attributed to exposure to endosulfan. Aerial spraying of endosulfan has been banned since 2000. NIOH paper published in Environmental Health Perspectives will satisfy this group. 01 February, 2011 Countercurrents.org. The Supreme Court, on January 10, directed the Kerala government to pay Rs 500 crores in three months as compensation to over 5,000 victims of the use of endosulfan pesticide. The toxicity of endosulfan and health issues due to its bioaccumulation came under media attention when health issues precipitated in the Kasargod District (of Kerala) were publicised. Blood samples of boys and girls were analyzed for endosulfan products, chromosomal anomalies, and hormones related to growth, thyroid and reproductive system. This ongoing study is looking into soil carbon sequestration in organic and non-organic farms in three Indian states. This is the crux of the dispute. Suskumaran committee report is mirrored on the website of the Endosulfan Relief and Rehabilitation Council. The tragedy of people exposed to pesticide Endosulfan in Kasaragod district of Kerala is continuing. When children develop a slight headache, mothers worry that this may be the onset of hydrocephalus. NIOH study found endosulfan in soil samples of a village, some 25 km away from the sprayed village. Mithua Ghosh, a senior researcher at the HCG group of cancer hospitals, says animal studies are merely the first step towards showing how a chemical will affect human beings. Lump sums of up to Rs 5 lakh, a monthly social-security allowance of Rs 1,700 and medical treatment were given to around 4,000 patients. The claim for compensation by the victims has not been settled so far. Review of death due to cancer and other diseases among the survivors of atom bombs – being submitted. Endosulfan was detected in only 2 samples out of 22 water samples analysed during the second phase of sampling. Between 1976 and 2000, more than 50,000 villagers of Kasargod district in Kerala, India have been exposed to endosulfan, apersistent organic pesticide, sprayed on Mony explains that measuring exposure to the pesticide—whether through air, soil or blood levels—is vital to a good epidemiological study. Mony began his response to me by saying, “This study has so many loopholes, I feel I should write a critique on it myself.”. NIOH “study was scientifically planned, designed, and carried out by a team of experts, which included epidemiologists, physicians, pediatricians, medical toxicologists, statisticians, analytical chemists, and biochemists, who have years of experience in conducting such studies and have many publications to their credit.” The subjects of the study were students of two schools – one located in village Padre and the other in village Meenja. Sreekumar’s point is that no one has made an attempt to scientifically study the real reasons that may have contributed to such spikes in disease rates. Delay in sexual maturity like appearance of pubic hair in adolescent boys. Some people have been exposed through all four pathways and they will be in the high dose category. Without studying the reports, the National and the State Human Rights Commissions have been making radical demands on the Governments. The formulation that was sprayed contained about 0.05-0.1 per cent of endosulfan, a small amount to begin with. The case of the endosulfan disaster that occurred in Kasargod, Kerala can be accounted to environmental harms which detrimentally affected the environment and its units, especially humans. This was to eradicate tea mosquitoes in the cashew plantations. One can argue that the excesses in the first three villages were due to endosulfan. Mony dismisses this approach for identifying victims as ‘balderdash’. This is a major political issue now, and Kerala’s political parties ignore it in the upcoming elections at their own peril. First, rat models often do not translate to human beings. – short duration. Restricting the study to a small sample is usual and permitted. Investigation of Unusual Illnesses Allegedly Produced by Endosulfan Exposure in Padre Village of Kasargod District (N. Kerala). To understand its flaws, I approached Prem Mony, who heads the division of epidemiology at St John’s Research Institute in Bangalore. An Invisible Disaster. Important points – Kasargod District. The only exception is the village of Padre, which has a higher rate of mental retardation and reproductive disorders. The National Institute Occupational Health (Indian Council of Medical Research) says that after studying various aetiological factors responsible for health problem was, NIOH “study was scientifically planned, designed, and carried out by a team of experts, which included epidemiologists, physicians, pediatricians, medical toxicologists, statisticians, analytical chemists, and biochemists, who have years of experience in conducting such studies and have many publications to their credit.” The. As the endosulfan was also found in this population which was presumed to be not exposed to significant amounts of endosulfan, the term “control” used in first report has been replaced by the term reference group”. So everyone in Kasargod must have fallen sick due to endosulfan. In soil, the chemical would degrade in less than a month. Dr Y Mohankumar, a physician with more than two decades of practice in Padre village had published his shocking finding of 171 patients with severe disabilities and cancer in 126 households. Narendra Modi has declared war on black money. Kasaragod district, Kerala in four different phases to assess the contamination by endosulfan applied on cashew plantations. Sitting behind a desk covered with stacks of paper in Kasargod’s Kerala Agricultural University, is Kinavoor Madathil Sreekumar, an associate professor of entomology—the study of pests and pest control. The endosulfan controversy first began in the late 1990s. The rationality of science and economics, and the politics of development often silence the struggles of individuals and communities exposed to the risks of indiscriminate use of pesticides. Kennedy, who has published a large body of research on endosulfan, alleges that the Convention cherry-picked data from laboratory studies and arctic studies, which do not reflect field conditions in countries like India and Australia at all. Children were found to be the worst affected with congenital anomalies, mental retardation, physical deformities, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, hydrocephalus etc. The Kerala government, of course, hasn’t blamed only cancer on endosulfan. Endosulfan was detected in only 2 samples out of 22 water samples analysed during the second phase of sampling. And how. It would be ridiculous, therefore, to say paracetamol causes cancer based on a single study. A delay of two years in the appearance of moustache and advancement of menarche by one year are really important issues. All the environmental media studied have been contaminated with endosulfan. (2) Difference in age structure and sex ratio between the study and reference groups and between the samples and the mother villages from which the samples were drawn. There are two groups of stake holders on this side of the fence of endosulfan debate. These statutory bodies have wasted more than eight years. The Supreme Court has ordered to give Rs.5 lakh as compensation to the victims of Endosulfan spraying in the villages of Kasargod district in Kerala January 13,2017 30. By 1990s health disorders of very serious nature among the human population came to the lime light. The pesticide was banned by the state govt after its widespread use in Kasargod harmed many. Kerala News Most scientists agree with Kennedy’s point. Children were found to be the worst affected with congenital anomalies, mental retardation, physical deformities, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, hydrocephalus etc. According to him, the CMC study is what is called a cross- sectional study—it shows association but not causation. Vol. This means that PCK considers an area within about 300 meters from the boundary of the plantations as exposed. Prone to long-range atmospheric transport, Endosulfan linked to serious health disorders in the citizens residing in these areas. The rationality of science and economics, and the politics of development often silence the struggles of individuals and communities exposed to the risks of indiscriminate use of pesticides. Formed in 1984 May 24; Kasargod became part of Kannur district of Kerala at the time of formation of Kerala in November 1, 1956. According to PCK, there were 292 houses inside the plantation and 2026 household outside the plantation. If the exposed population is very large, the first study can be on a smaller sample. NHRC and the governments ignored the main recommendation to undertake a full-length, detailed long term epidemiological study of all exposed persons. So if a rat study shows that endosulfan causes tumors, it doesn’t mean it will cause tumors among humans. Usually such data are converted into rates (per 100 or 1000 or 100,000) and rates in exposed and unexposed populations are compared using an analytical software. Government doctors say the incidence of diseases such as cancer, cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus is no higher in the district of Kasargod than in the rest of India. The normal question a sensible person will ask is “why there is lower disease burden in other villages. CSE and NIOH have done fairly elaborate studies. NIOH observed that “aerial exposure” to endosulfan was responsible for delay in sexual maturity among the adolescents. 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