At a media briefing held by the PMFAI, speakers questioned the flawed study conducted and published by National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH), Ahmedabad. The study titled “The Final Report of the investigation of unusual illness allegedly produced by Endosulfan exposure in Padre Village of Kasargod district (N. Kerala)”, has been the root cause for the demand for a ban on the pesticide Endosulfan. An expert panel examined the unscientific and implausible aspects of the NIOH’s study which has been under scanner for the last one year. The flaws have been exposed through the RTI and the masked raw data has evoked public outrage when ten thousand people drew a rally in Gujarat to seek withdrawal of the flawed report. Similar agitation was led by thousand workers in Kochi to demand justice for the unfairly stigmatized workers at the government run HIL plant.
As per the international norms prescribed by the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR), it is mandatory for residues to be reported as identified only after performing “confirmatory test” of each sample. “Different chemicals may appear in the same peak due to similar retention time leading to wrong reporting. However, in the NIOH study in Padre Village in Kerala no confirmatory data was generated, thus NIOH report on Endosulfan is incorrect and misleading. No decisions can be taken based on his report.” said Dr S K Handa, Fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He further added “since there was no confirmation referring to presence of Endosulfan in the report made by scientists at NIOH, Endosulfan cannot be blamed for diseases in Kerala.” Dr. S K Handa pointed out that Endosulfan is a safe molecule and as per World Health Organisation (WHO) does not possess properties to cause cancer or diseases as reported in Kasargod, Kerala.