The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has restricted the use of glyphosate, a widely used herbicide, citing health hazards for humans and animals.
GS III: Agriculture
Dimensions of the Article:
- What is Glyphosate?
- Health impacts of glyphosate
What is Glyphosate?
- Glyphosate is an herbicide. It is applied to the leaves of plants to kill both broadleaf plants and grasses.
- The sodium salt form of glyphosate is used to regulate plant growth and ripen specific crops.
- Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicide.
- In India, glyphosate has been approved for use only in tea plantations and non-plantation areas accompanying the tea crop.
- Use of the substance anywhere else is illegal.
- It prevents the plants from making certain proteins that are needed for plant growth.
- Glyphosate stops a specific enzyme pathway, the shikimic acid
- The shikimic acid pathway is necessary for plants and some microorganisms.
- Only authorized Pest Control Operators are allowed to use it.
- Earlier, state governments of Maharashtra, Telangana, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh have tried similar steps but failed.
- The ban notification was based on a 2019 report by the Government of Kerala on prohibiting the distribution, sale and use of glyphosate and its derivatives.
- Some 35 countries have banned or restricted the use of glyphosate.
- These include Sri Lanka, Netherlands, France, Colombia, Canada, Israel and Argentina.
Health impacts of glyphosate:
- Health impacts of glyphosate range from cancer, and reproductive and developmental toxicity to neurotoxicity and immune toxicity.
- Symptoms include irritation, swelling, burning of the skin, oral and nasal discomfort, unpleasant taste and blurred vision.
-Source: Indian Express