Why ban a pesticide which is soft on bees?

Pollination determines the life of flowers, fruits and crops. It is estimated that every third morsel we consume is a result of pollination. The honey bee is among the most effective pollinators. 90 per cent of pollination in cross-pollinated crops like oil-seeds, vegetables, fruits and cereals is aided by honey bees alone. An ideal pesticide is characterised by effectiveness against target pests, but softness towards pollinators and beneficials. One of the few pesticides with this virtue is Endosulfan. Endosulfan is comparable only to neem in terms of its softness on honey bees. However, the use of pesticides such as neonecotinoids aimed at the former, works by eliminating both…

whybanendosulfan.org/pollinators … icials.htm

It’s a great and amazing view!!!
Even if it destroys or paralyses hundreds or thousands of human lives across the country, as far it is soft on bees we should not ban it!!!
In a pollination perspective human lives are of less value comparing to the lives of bees!!!
Long live pollination!!! Long live bees!!! Long live killer Endosulfan!!!
Let us close our eyes towards the paralyzed hundreds of useless human beings, good for nothing for pollination, who are the victims of Endosulfan in northern Kerala and various other parts of India!!!
Let’s keep echoing the words of the pimps of corporate giants!!!

Dear baceljones,

          What makes you conclude that endosulfan is absolutely safe on bees? Mind sharing it with us?

@ abuzein If you say there have been thousands of people dying of endosulfan…I would let you know that every victim reported as endosulfan victims is from Kerala and lately from Karnataka. These victims are facing from a genetic syndrome called handigodu. This is problem detected within the regions of Karnataka and few regions in Kerala. The reason for this syndrome has not been detected yet.
Moreover, if this was what happened to people in Kerala, the least user of Endosulfan; Why don’t we see any cases of deformities from any other part of India like Maharashtra or Andhra Pradesh or Madhya Pradesh who are heavy users of Endosulfan.

Show me one report talking about victims from any other part of India or even the rest of the world.

European Union, user of endosulfan for the past 55 years has no reports of endosulfan victims. Still it propogates the ban on endosulfan for its own vested interests.

@ cowherd
Farmers in warm and tropical countries like India generally experience pest attack and honey bee pollination at around the same time. At this time a pesticide has to be used which kills pests but is also soft on bees. Indian farmers have been using Endosulfan for decades and use honey bees as a free source for pollination. This is only because Endosulfan is the only pesticide soft on bees unlike other neonecotinoids. Due to this quality of endosulfan it is also recommended in the IPM systems.

To think logically, if endosulfan was a killer of honey bees, by now India would have lost a large population of bees which would directly affect the production yield. On the contrary, India has seen a consistent growth in food production till date which clearly proves that endosulfan usage has been helpful to farmers in every way.

[quote]This is only because Endosulfan is the only pesticide soft on bees unlike other neonecotinoids. Due to this quality of endosulfan it is also recommended in the IPM systems.

Do you say this based on scientific tests/lab tests or the manufacturer’s claims? Then going by this logic it should be safe on human beings too?.

There are no manufacturers claims I have come across. Endosulfan is a registered pesticide under the National Centre For Integrated Pest management. It is specially recommended for cotton crops.


Moreover, there have been scientific reports concluding no residues of endosulfan in human as well as animal bodies.


It was even more ‘specially’ recommended for coffee, way back in the early 90s to destroy the berry borer,by none other than the Coffee Board. In fact it was a strict instruction to administer it .Half an hour into the spraying ( at dosage strengths much below what the company had recommended) 2 workmen and I started feeling giddy . We stopped it forever. My neighbour lost two cows as they consumed the grass from the spraying area.Next day my friend living 10kms away, lost 3 cows similarly. Are you saying that all of us suffer from the ‘genetic syndrome called handigodu’?

I have been to the affected areas in Kasargod more than once. I have never seen bees or butterflies in the whole area, so much for the claims that it is ‘soft’ on bees.Nor can you see snakes, reptiles, or birds.I assume you have not visited the area, for if you had ,you would not be able to say this. How come only thepeople from the spraying circle only have handigodu?

If you are so confident about how safe endosulfan is,based on the links and reports
that you have posted, I request you to kindly take up this challenge. No,it’s not a challenge thrown by me, but by the organizations and people who fight for these victims. They are looking for volunteers, who’d be administered endosulfan in the ‘safe’ doses recommended by the company. If you come out unscathed, they themselves will publicly proclaim endosulfan to be safe.Even the company officials themselves haven’t had he nerves to take the test.What say?

Just another instance that science tells us only partial truths and there is a lot more that is unknown.

It is interesting that Endosulfan was widely recommended as a safe pesticide so much that I used to specifically get it for any pests in my home garden. Only after reading the recent debates did I even realize that there is another view on the chemical. EU wants it banned, India doesn’t want it banned and Kerala wants it banned!

That said, is Endosulfan worse than the alternatives that will be used in case it is banned - I recollect it was yellow triangle in terms of toxicity? Or any other OP chemical would be equally bad?

farmnest.com/forum/agricultural- … ndosulfan/

Visuals from Kasargod. I leave it to you to decide if endosulfan can indeed be ‘soft’ on bees, ‘safe’ on humans and ‘helpful to farmers in every way’

Dear baceljones

Even if I try to convince myself that it is a Kerala phenomenon of over politicizing and opposing anything blindly, I should provide with reasonable answers to some questions raised by my logical sense.

  • Why all the below listed countries have either banned Endosulfan completely or brought it’s use to a strict control?

Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Cambodia, Cape-Verde, Colombia, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Greece, Guinea Bissau, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Iran, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mauritania, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, St Lucia, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Chad, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA, Venezuela

  • Why International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN), Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe and many other organizations are simply misguiding us saying that such nice and innocent
    stuff like Endosulfan is dangerous for humans as well as animals? Are they trying to torpedo the pollination!!
    Please see a short abstract from a fact sheet published by PAN Europe on Endosulfan with the references to the reports and publications from widely accepted organizations: (To access the document please visit ipen.org/ipenweb/documents/p … europe.pdf)

  • Endosulfan is listed as a POP (persistent organic pollutant) in the Stckholm Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP), and is recognized as a Persistent Toxic Substance by the United Nations Environment Programme.

  • Endosulfan is a widespread contaminant of human breast milk and has been found in samples from women in many countries including India

  • Due to its potential to evaporate and travel long distances in the atmosphere, Endosulfan has become one of world’s most widespread pollutants.

  • According to the European Union “Endosulfan is very toxic to nearly all kinds of organisms”.

  • According to the US EPA, Endosulfan presents “short- and intermediate-term risks for mixers, loaders, and applicators for the majority of uses, even with maximum Personal Protective Equipment and engineering controls”.

  • Acute Endosulfan poisoning can cause convulsions, psychiatric disturbances, epilepsy, paralysis, brain oedema, impaired memory and death. Long term exposure is linked to immune suppression, neurological disorders, congenital birth defects, chromosomal abnormalities, mental retardation, impaired learning and memory loss.

  • Endosulfan is banned or withdrawn in 55 countries worldwide; mostly in Europe, West Asia and the Far East. [/list]

Let’s pray and hope that when many countries (who are bothered more about human beings and environment than pollination) prohibited the Endosulfan, some of our intellectuals will not come to us propagating a delicacy using Endosulfan as a main ingredient in the recipe!! – As a matter of fact, while collecting the honey and pollen (I mean while helping the pollination) bees are collecting the particles of Endosulfan too along with and we are harvesting and consuming the same honey, Endosulfan is an ingredient in the recipe of honey!!
In that sense it would be even better if it was not soft on bees – at least we would not consume Endosulfanized honey!!

However, if you google you will find at least some reports and/or news claiming that the population of bees and the production of the honey has been badly affected due to the use of Endosulfan!

I do agree that you may find lots of so called organizations and intellectuals argue that using Endosulfan is harmless and some of them may even be dare enough to say that using Endosulfan is even good for helth!! Let’s damn bother about them!! Even if someone beat his mother you may find some people say “it’s great to beat one’s mother”!!

Anyhow, I decided that this will be my last posting on this subject as I don’t want to waste my time and misuse this great media anymore on this nonproductive subject.

@ abuzein:
-To the logical reasoning to the questions you raise are:
Amongst the countries you have mentioned below or rather the countries who have banned endosulfan, 60%countries are from the European Union there is a percent of countries from west Africa. These countries have been using endosulfan largely to control pests on Cocoa. While the rest hardly contribute in the agricultural production in the world.
-To talk about the Non profit organizations like EPA, IPEN, PAN, EJF and India based, CSE, Thanal are the ones strongly opposing endosulfan and have published these reports as well to favour the ban.

  • Endosulfan has not been declared but proposed for POP. Infact, Endosulfan has a half life of 20 days making it impossible of long range transport. So it clearly has proven negative to all the criteria’s to be declared as a POP.
  • Acording to the scientific researches i have referred to, Endosulfan residues are not found in humans or even animal samples. I would want to see the research which mentions this. I hope it is not a report from any of the above organizations! There have been endosulfan workers working closely with the chemical who were ready to lend their blood samples to have a check on
    endosulfan residues. But no such residues were detected from their blood.
    wepapers.com/Papers/130370/E … od_reports

-Like I told you it has a half life of 20 days. Moreover, Endosulfan does not bio accumulate in the nature as it is degraded by the consumption by soil micro-organisms in soil, Chemical breakdown in reaction to sunlight (Photolysis) in air or on land and Chemical reaction with water (Hydrolysis).

  • WHO had observed ""Endosulfan and Endosulfan Sulfate do not bio-accumulate in organisms due to the extensive metabolism with enzymatic hydrolysis of Endosulfan and Endosulfan Sulfate forming more polar metabolites.

  • WHO has proven that endosulfan is not carcinogenic, genotoxic, mutogenic and clastogenic.

I would not want to comment on the links you gave from the European Union as they are the culprits behind this. The European Union wants to ban endosulfan so that endosulfan, a generic pesticide can be replaced by other patented products produced by companies in EU.
The common factor among all the countries banning endosulfan, organizations opposing it is their connection with the European Union. Most of the West African countries have the EU has their chief source of funding and so cannot go against them. Organizations Like PAN, CSE are funded by EU specially in near past for creating pressure groups in banning endosulfan.

youtube.com/watch?v=opJyp6KnaJw you can find a letter written by the EU to CSE clearly proving that they are funded by them for the same.

I dont mind taking up the challenge, infact I have already taken it up because I realize that banning endosulfan will surely result in millions of victims. May be not even measureable. Because if you ban this one there is technically no alternative more safer than this. The alternatives suggested mostly fall into the category of neonicotinides which are systemic pesticides and already have caused lot of problems within the countries using it.
This is one reason inspite of banning Endosulfan, Italy considered using endosulfan during the massive pest attack on the hazelnut crops. They did not prefer using the alternatives. Why?

I have myself visited the area and that is what has inspired me to take up this war. There are people facing problems. But their problems have been posed in a wrong way for certain vested interests. All the problems you see in the specific geographic patch is not due to endosulfan. It is a congenital problem with no reasons yet. you will even see such victims in areas which were not even near the cashew plantations where endosulfan was aerially sprayed which allegedly is the cause for all the problems in Kasargod. Here is a independent study done to reveal the real tragedy in Kerala:
indianexpress.com/news/keral … e/743608/3

And I do not understand on what grounds do you talk about the company officials taking up the test. To let you know more than 3,000 workers of endosulfan from bhavnagar came down to roads asking to take thier blood samples in order to check endosulfan residues. But their plea was left on deaf ears.
dailymotion.com/video/xg6ea7 … tech

Here is a study on the efeects of Endosulfan on humans and the environment.
nalanda.nitc.ac.in/environme … sulfan.pdf

I guess to discredit agencies and sources (almost a whole continent!)which publish reports against endosulfan is a convenient form of defense but it will not wash.
Do you have a stake/commercial interest in this poison?

Good luck, and you will need lot’s of it! And when you say you have already taken it up, how? Is it on a public platform ensuring total transparency?

Highly amusing it is when you allege ‘Vested’ interests! It is public knowledge that, the law makers, administrators, a section of the media form an unholy nexus , justifying a business corporation, whose money obviously talks. And please don’t point to the committees, reports and findings; which are primarily to eye-wash the public and make them believe some action is taken. Of the 17 committees that have visited the affected areas, barring two the rest have not left the comforts of the guest houses to study that matter. They were merely handing over reports an finding that were premeditated. Whose vested interests are you talking about now?! Even the findings of one honest committee got nowhere!

So you admit that at least some of the problems there are only because endosulfan!

You come up with another one thousand ‘specially ordered’ findings or reports and shout tall claims from roof-tops. But every claim that you have made based on your lab tests and reports has fallen flat on it’s face in our fields.And please don’t take us farmers for granted, we spend more time studying how your products behave than you do in your labs. When your product continues to defy your own claims and behaves in the exact opposite fashion, we attach as much credibility to your claims as we do the routine denial statements of seasoned and habitual offenders in the courtbox. This being the case the general public has every right to question your product as well as your intentions.

Will be interesting to hear your answers for these.

Do you agree it is toxic?Can an empty container of endosulfan be emptied, washed down with water once and used ‘safely’ by human beings?

When you claim it is safe on bees, why are bees staying away from our fields after application? Why do earthworms, frogs and butterflies also disappear after endosulfan application?

Why does anyone who handles I for sometime develop issues? It cannot be handigodu always and all the time!

Why do people who are exposed to it for hours pass out? This not only in Kasargod.

Why do animals, cattle etc die when the feed on grass that has been sprayed with endosulfan? Why do they exhibit abnormalities in areas where endosulfan is sprayed?

Why does the Organic Carbon content of the soils decrease rapidly on application of endosulfan? Even in cases where endosulfan is applied on nursey soils, why does the soil lose it’s porosity , harden and lose fertility?

Why is that the microbial content of endosulfan applied soils always remain way below that of regular soils?

You claim that endosulfan has a life of only 20 day and is bio-degradable.If that is so why do leaves that have been sprayed with endosulfan take ages to decay or practically refuse to decay. If your 20 day threshold is to be believed, why the delay in decomposition?

When you claim endo sulfan is bio degradable,ie- it is consumed by soil micro organism,then Effective Micro- organism cultures should at least maintain their population when applied with endosulfan. Why does the microbial count of cultures diminish when enslaving is added to them?

Your mention that endosulfan residues have not been seen in human or animal samples. Tests in America have clearly revealed that they are stored in human an animal fats for extremely long periods, and on an average 177 different organochlorine contaminants can now be detected in the average middle-aged man. They have also found traces of endosulfan in tree bark !

Another experience that I would like to point out – There are 2 pain and palliative care centres in my area, both are 25 kms apart. 95% of the patients in both these areas come from areas where banana cultivation belts where endosulfan is used heavily. Oh no! Not again the genetic syndrome!

You call this a test?! It’s a shame to call this farce a test. Parading people before mike and camera does not amount taking a test. They have to undergo whatever the victims had to go through, due to constant exposure to endosulfan, at least for a coule of years. You just can’t get away by walking in and out of a lab supported by a paer result. They have live in areas when aerial spraying is going on; they have to handle the thing sans gloves and protection continuously. They have to drink water from the endosulfan contaminated wells, a least for a couple of years. Let’s see then

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If not all of the readers or members of farmnest, at least most of us are somehow finding time to read and participate in the discussions, even during the fast life and tight schedules, is to hear some innovative and progressive ideas to find the livelihood and do the agriculture without making much damages to the Mother Earth. Mother Earth should remain in livable condition for the coming generations too!! If you are not interested in the movement at least avoid poisoning our ambitions!!

Dear all other participants,

Even when a mosquito approaches a milking cow that gives 25 Ltr milk a day, mosquito will still be seeking for hot blood of the cow. It is very obvious and clear that Bacel has some vested/financial interest in the Endosulfan and he is trying to at least take this as a subject of debate to confuse the readers. Let’s show some maturity to ignore this poster and avoid posting any answers or arguments to his posts anymore!

This view is more poisonous and toxic than Endosulfan!!! To hell with Endosulfan!!!

Mod edit: Scaled down some anger in the post.
Guys, it is fully understandable the topic is quite agitating and certainly much more painful to those who are directly affected, but let us be objective and attack the issue. The discussion would certainly help us all make our own conclusions. Peace.

I never said that there are problems due to endosulfan. I accept there are problems whose root cause is yet to be detected.

Well! Those reports were there since I was asked for some logical reasoning on the issue. I believe that a molecule is to be banned on certain scientific proofs and not just because people “Feel” it should be. Thank goodness, if such decisions were made I believe mankind would have been on the verge of extinction.

Firstly by asking all these questions you prove that you have simply no knowledge whatsoever required to understand science. You are one of those people who find it easy to believe what the world says rather than think about it.
You could answer these simple questions yourself.
Please answer this one for me ,
FYI, The history of usage of endosulfan in Kerala is that this pesticide has been banned in Kerala for the past 10 years and even before that it contributed to less than a percent from the overall usage of endosulfan in India. There are states within India like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh etc which use the highest amount of endosulfan in India and at the same time are the major contributors in the national agricultural production.
Now please tell me why have these places not reported any of the symptoms you questioned me about? Why only Kerala?
More importantly, even if we assume that all the above allegations were true, this must have surely reduced the agricultural production of India as Endosulfan has been used extensively for 30 years in India and more than 55 years over the world.

Looks like you want to disregard every possible point which proves Endosulfan safe. But still I will try to make an attempt.
If farmers are vulnerable to this pesticide, then the workers who have been making this pesticide right inside the plants which might even contain Endosulfan in the air 24*7 (Like you say it persists!) are even more prone to all these problems. They spend everyday in those plants making that product. Yet, these workers continue to work since decades with a healthy body and mind. And when these workers are ready to give their blood for residue analysis, you say it’s a farce??
I wish there was some sensibility used before putting a comment like this.
And @Yaj , if you say I have a share in this “poison” by giving me a college research on Endosulfan. It is even easier for me to show you some reports from scientists who have worked in and around millions of such chemicals and say that you have a personal interest in banning this product. However, I am here to just give you another side of the story and not force my views on you.
Rest is upto you if you wish to support or still vouch to go against Endosulfan.

Mod edit: modified to remove personal attacks. Again, please discuss the topic and not each of our abilities or intelligence

Well, the world doesn’t go by your belief. I was not referring to the ‘feel’ but the real practical on the field effects of your products. If you believe you can wave a few ‘clean chits’ issued by by labs, and order people to go by it, being indifferent to the problems your products creates,you are in fool’s paradise.

Yeah sure, Darwin,Freudian and Malthusian theory does specially mention the part played by your product in evolution and sustaining human life. Even air, water and the elements come only after endosulfan.

Any day better than shooting off claims and being unable to explain/ justify it like you do.I never claimed to understand science or have abundance of knowledge. But there’s no need to have scientific knowledge to live and succeed, and I excel in my profession without it. You inspite of your ‘scientific knowledge an understanding of science’ are unable to explain why your product behaves in total contrast to your claims in the field.
So you effectively prove your knowledge and understanding of science is pretty useless; It is ten times worse than me not having knowledge and understanding science. If this is what knowledge and science have done you, I’d rather be without it.
Your posting a counter question instead of providing an explanation gives us an idea. We call it the ‘making faces’ tactic. Some people when stumped for answers resort to making faces or shouting irrelevent things.

It is purely your assumption that it is only in Kerala. There are 12 villages in Karnataka, then parts of Idullkki, parts of Assam , just to name a few, where the same effects has happened. Certain vested interests make sure it doesn’t get media coverage.

You can’t blame me for the way your product behaves? Looks like your want to promote endolsulfan as ambrosia because you have vested interests.

Practice before you preach. First acquire some sensibility before you start to talk. You have been mocking the thousnds of victims by attributing it to other causes…

I have no wish to continue this discussion with you, as there is nothing productive coming out of it. You can only make claims, you are incapable of backing up your claims, prove anything on the practical field or even explaining the elementary science behind them.

Vylathur, if only you had given me this suggestion a little earlier, I could have saved this time and utilised it for something better, to plant a couple of bananas :slight_smile:

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First and foremost, the product is not manufactured by me. So please stop addressing it as my product.
This is a kind request to stop generalizing every one as a manufacturers lobby. This thread has been created to share information and views. If you do not find any worth in this thread, please do not participate.
I have no interest in fighting or forcing you to belief anything I say.

What I belief is what the world bodies deciding the fate of Endosulfan also belief. So now you know that the world unanimously goes by this belief. Moreover, I am not against the people suffering there. But you do not understand the fact that even if Endosulfan is banned, it will do no good to those people. In fact, millions of more victims will be created which will be Endosulfan victims in true sense.
I have no doubt that mere lab tests cannot be the sole for decision making, especially in this case. The pain of these people cannot be ignored as well. But don’t you find a loophole in the whole chain?
There are some people from science who claim Endosulfan to be harmful while there are some who clearly deny any connections between Endosulfan and the victims diseases.
Endosulfan cannot be blamed for diseases in Kerala: Dr. S. K. Handa: business-standard.com/india/ … da/424070/
If any molecule has to be banned, it should be done by overall consensus, a decision making criteria at the Stockholm convention.

Well!! The questions I asked you were very straight and had no science involved in it. It is mere observation and if you figure out the answer to those, you automatically get your answers.

So you know some more places affected due to Endosulfan. Can you please share more information about places other than Kerala, as I have not read about any other region facing problems due to Endosulfan.

That is your take. But the workers and farmers won’t do it.

Hahh!! That’s an easy escape!!  Good Bye Cowherd. You can stay back in your farm and plant bananas.

According to me, Bacel makes sense. and after watching this video, he surely has a point to make.

baceljones, you are a waste of our time. You obviously are a corporate stooge who gets his pound of flesh from the poison peddlers. You disgust me!

Mod’s closing remarks:
The topic has degenerated from an objective discussion to a slugfest of unsupported claims and personal attacks, hence is being closed.

You have resorted to using a proxy in sridharpillay which unfortunately is against forum rules; the proxy account is being banned and your account gets a warning. More importantly, resorting to a trick automatically tips the scales in favour of the ‘vested interest’ allegation that has been made against you and I do not see any more room for objective discussion.

Edit: Additional comment:
Having had a stint with one of the world’s foremost research based Agrochemicals company as a Product Manager many years back, I am aware that it is also in the interest of most companies (at least the larger research based ones) to develop safer, more effective (and more profitable) agrochemicals. It is also true that each molecule has to undergo a series of statutory tests for years before being released.
However I personally believe nothing that we do to understand interactions with nature is comprehensive, given what is known to science is always minuscule in the larger scheme, and nature is so dynamic that what was true yesterday may not hold anymore today.

I believe farmers’ experiences certainly need respected and analyzed regardless of what lab reports claim. In any case, all that is needed to create a report for or against an idea today seems to be a free pdf writer!

If anyone has the wherewithal to take this forward with a field level experiment for everyone to see, FarmNest.com would be more than happy to cover and report it.


Edit 30-Apr-11: Endosulfan to be phased out in 11 years: thehindubusinessline.com/tod … 979016.ece