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Government to Implement New Rules on Sale & Use of Glyphosate

Glyphosate has been found in crops like chana, where farmers use it to desiccate the produce. Following the illegal cultivation of Ht BT cotton in India, the use of glyphosate increased dramatically.

Shivam Dwivedi
Glyphosate-containing products may cause eye or skin irritation
Glyphosate-containing products may cause eye or skin irritation

Tamil Nadu Government has moved ahead to implement the Centre's recently announced new glyphosate sale and use regulations. The use of glyphosate is restricted under the new regulations, and no one other than pest control operators (PCOs) may use it.

Glyphosate is a common herbicide with applications in agriculture, forestry, industrial weed control, lawn and garden care, and aquatic environments. Glyphosate is most commonly used in soybeans, field corn, pasture, and hay.

Although pure glyphosate is not toxic, most products contain other ingredients that aid in glyphosate absorption by plants. Other ingredients in the product may make it more toxic. Glyphosate-containing products may cause eye or skin irritation.

Recognizing this, the TN Agriculture Director has directed all joint directors in the districts to immediately issue stop-sale orders to glyphosate wholesalers and retailers, as well as assess godown- and shop-level stock details.

"After assessing the stock, the stop sale order shall be issued with an instruction to the concerned stating that glyphosate and its derivatives should be sold only to pest control operators with bill and sale report furnished to the respective block assistant director every month without fail," as per the Director of Agriculture.

Glyphosate has been used in tea plantations for nearly four decades as a ground application to control weeds. The United Planters' Association of South India (UPASI) recently stated that the plantation sector should be exempted from the new glyphosate use norms because it would increase tea growers' costs.

UPASI previously informed the Agriculture Ministry that PCOs are mostly available in cities, where private pest control activities for household purposes or fumigation of exported commodities are required. It also stated that the current total number of licenced PCOs in India is far less than the actual requirement to serve the tea plantations spread across 5.66 lakh hectares in the country.

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