Four others lose vision, 70 under treatment in hospital
These farmer deaths and sicknesses are a testament to the dishonesty of the GMO industry, which has consistently touted its GM Bt cotton on the basis of claims that it would end farmer insecticide poisonings.
Meanwhile in Bangladesh, GM Bt brinjal is being doused with an array of pesticides, including banned ones, according to the research organisation UBINIG.
9 farmers die in Yavatmal after spraying insecticide on crops
The Hindu, 26 Sept 2017
* Four others lose vision, 70 under treatment in hospital
Nine farmers have died after spraying ‘Profex Super’ insecticide on their Bt cotton plantations in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra.
The Vasantrao Naik Shetkari Swavalamban Mission, Maharashtra government’s task force to deal with farm distress, has asked the Central government to intervene in the matter.
Kishor Tiwari , VNSSM chief, said, “Nine innocent farmers fell ill and died in hospital after spraying toxic insecticides on their cotton produce to save it from pest attacks. Four other farmers have lost their vision and 70 farmers are undergoing treatment at the government medical college in Yavatmal after spraying the same toxic insecticide.”
The VNSSM said in a statement: “Environmental changes have resulted in huge attacks of bollworm and whitefly on cotton, which forced these farmers to go for continuous uncontrolled insecticide and pesticide spraying to save their standing cotton crop. However, these innocent farmers failed to take requisite precautions and used the toxic insecticide without any knowledge of how to spray the toxic chemical, its timing, schedule, wind direction, which resulted in their tragic deaths.”
The VNSSM claimed that ‘Profex Super’ insecticide was used by all the farmers who died. Mr. Tiwari blamed the lack of an Agriculture University and the Agriculture Department’s services in the area for the deaths.
He said, “With over 40 lakh hectares under cotton cultivation, Maharashtra has the largest area of the crop in the country. The killer pesticide, Profex Super, is a combination of Profenofos and Cypermethrin. This is not very toxic generally and experts are failing to understand why its use has caused these deaths. When sprayed without covering the mouth and nose, the insecticide causes adverse skin reactions, burning sensation, dizziness, and headaches.”
He added, “Experts say this is a result of faulty application or intake of the insecticide. Our farmers are not trained properly. We demand that all bereaved families be compensated and action be taken against all those who are responsible for the deaths.”