• "Food Matters Newsletter, June 2013....."
  • "Details of some resource persons on organic farming, state-wise".
  • Pesticides like Mancozeb and Captan, classified as Probable Human Carcinogen (US EPA) continue in India.
  • India has 67 pesticides that have been banned or restricted in other countries.
  • Nearly 40% of pesticides registered in India belong to Class I and Class II WHO categories of acute toxicity.
  • Studies show that less than 0.1% of pesticides for pest control fall on target insects. Rest dissipates into the atmosphere, contaminating our resources.
  • Farming can indeed be done profitably without synthetic pesticides – research proves this; experience on millions of acres shows this.
  • In Andhra Pradesh, 1000s of farmers have adopted Non Pesticidal Management of crops through a government programme called Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture.

India For Safe Food...

...is a movement for change amongst Indian farmers, consumers and the government to ensure that all Indians have access to safe food, devoid of toxic substances. This movement is being spearheaded by ASHA (Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture), an informal network of hundreds of organizations and individuals across twenty states of India and we consider you to be part of this movement!

The Latest Updates

Toxic chemicals trigger cancer in children: Green activists

November 14, 2016 07:54 AM


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Among the 260 pesticides in use in India, 56 are carcinogenic and banned in other countries. Of them, 20 clearly harm children causing leukaemia or blood cancer, yet it escapes from the Indian government list of banned pesticides. Statistics indicate that about 50,000 children in Kerala alone are affected by various cancers now, yet the state cannot totally ban pesticides as it falls under the ambit of Central list of the Indian constitution.


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US overhauls law on chemical safety; India should follow suit

June 24, 2016 12:00 AM


As the US focuses on more stringent safety tests for chemicals, India needs to replicate a similar model to curb indiscriminate use of pesticides


Majority of chemicals used in household products, food and food packaging are hardly ever tested for safety Credit: Chronos Tachyon / Flicker


For the first time in its history, the US would be able to regulate chemicals in almost every product it uses. When President Obama signed The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, the Congress finally made some progress towards fixing “one of the worst environmental laws”. Under the new law, the Environmental Protection Agency will have more oversight and stronger tools to monitor cancer-causing chemicals and other chemicals causing health problems in children and adults.


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Hundreds of birds die after eating grains sprayed with pesticides

June 23, 2016 03:33 AM


The Times of India - Mazhar Ali, Chandrapur: Hundreds of birds have died after consuming poisonous grains from a paddy nursery in the fields around village Junona, around 8km from the city. Forest officials took notice of the incident on Wednesday and carried out inquest of the dead bodies of some birds. Local wildlife activists claimed that poisonous chemical sprayed on the paddy nursery led to the bird deaths.


"The birds are dying since last four days in fields and shrubs all around the village. I have seen hundreds of dead birds scattered in the bushes, on trees, in farms fences etc. After the matter was reported to the forest officials, the forest guard of Chandrapur range carried out an inquest on Wednesday on the dead bodies of 21 birds we had gathered at one place," said Kishor Petkule, volunteer of local wing of Eco-Pro organization.


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IFSF Letter to Agri Minister on Review of pesticide usage in India, including of chemicals which have been banned elsewhere in the world - complete overhaul of regulation required

January 29, 2016 12:00 AM


Review of pesticide usage in India, including of chemicals which have been banned elsewhere in the world – reg.


Namaste! We congratulate the government for setting up the Anupam Verma Committee to review the continued use in India of 66 pesticides that have been banned elsewhere in the world, and the Anupam Verma Committee itself for giving its report that recommended a ban on 13 of those pesticides and a phasing out by 2020 of 6 of the pesticides reviewed. We also appreciate some of the general recommendations that the Committee came up with and hope that the Government will immediately implement them. However, we would like to point out that none of this really goes anywhere close to the serious and comprehensive overhaul that the pesticides regulatory regime needs in India, for the sake of our farm livelihoods and biosafety. We present these matters in greater detail below.


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June 09, 2015 12:00 AM


New Delhi, Welcoming the swift action by governments with regard to the food safety scare posed by presence of toxins in various processed food brands including Nestle's Maggi noodles, "India For Safe Food" (IFSF: www.indiaforsafefood.in) pointed out that it is unfortunate that issues of food safety are not usually taken seriously enough by governments as well as the public. IFSF points out that the issues that such food scares raise are also about informed choices being left (or not left) with consumers, whether regulation can be relied upon, and about how far have we moved away from natural foods.


IFSF is a nationwide awareness generation platform on issues of food safety, and is run by ASHA (Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture). IFSF seeks to ensure safe, nutritious and diverse foods for all, to make food safe and nourishing, and also to ensure food production that makes our soil fertile, restores our environment and secures farmers' dignified and viable livelihoods.


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Can India break its dependence on pesticides?

September 13, 2014 07:30 AM


New recommendations on dealing with the residues of pesticides in food are expected to be made by the UN's food and health agencies.


The continued use of old and highly hazardous pesticides in agriculture is still a major problem in some developing countries.


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Government as well as Tea, Food & Pesticides Industry Should Prioritise Public Concern Around Toxic Pesticides and Act Positively: ASHA

August 27, 2014 12:00 AM


In a media statement put out today, ASHA (Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture) welcomed the understanding and analysis of Union Minister for Fertilisers Mr Ananth Kumar who said that he will recommend banning of pesticides that are hazardous to our Nature and biodiversity. The Union Minister also said that pesticides that have been banned in other countries could also be banned in India...


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60 peacocks found dead

July 21, 2014 11:05 AM


The Times of India - Shiva Kumar Pinna | TNN - WARANGAL: Nearly 60 peacocks were found dead in Chitur village of Lingala Ghanapur mandal early on Monday morning.


The peacocks died as a result of drinking poisonous water. It is learnt the farmers in the area used pesticides in the fields and the peacocks which drank the water in which the pesticides were mixed died. Forest officials have arrived at the place to investigate.


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New Report demands that government act against main culprit in Bihar MDM tragedy

July 15, 2014 12:00 AM


On the first anniversary of the terrible tragedy that claimed 23 children's lives in Saran district in Bihar due to pesticide poisoning of their school mid day meal, a new report released by India For Safe Food points out that government is not acting decisively on the big culprit here: pesticides, which are not inevitable...


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Differences between organic and non-organic food

July 13, 2014 12:14 PM


Home - Organic is different


New findings - organic crops, such as fruit, vegetables and cereals, and crop-based foods are up to 60% higher in a number of key antioxidants than non-organic crops. The findings shatter the myth that how we farm does not affect the quality...


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Pesticides impair bumblebees' ability to forage

July 11, 2014 12:54 PM


Business Standard - Press Trust of India | London, Long-term exposure to pesticides harms bees' ability to forage for pollen and may be changing their choices of which flowers to visit, a new study has found.


Scientists used Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, which are similar to those used by courier firms to track parcels, to monitor the day-to-day behaviour of bumblebees.


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10 ways to find out if your food is organic

June 15, 2014 02:50 PM


DNA India, Tired of eating stuff laden with chemicals but don't know how to go about choosing right? Jayashree Joshi Eashwar, co-founder, Dubdengreen, and Mridu Mahajan Pogula, co-founder, Nirvaaha Delhi, put together a 10-point primer to help you gauge whether the food you are picking up is organic. Kavita Devgan reports




If it is naturally and organically grown, no two items will look identical... ever! It's just not possible to find two things that look absolutely alike in nature. No two leaves of the same mango tree will ever look 100% alike. Similarly, each apple, mango or even grain will always look different from another. Their colour, shape, structure will never be uniform. There will, for instance, be different shades of yellow in your moong dal instead of the uniformly bleached yellow of the regular packaged dal.


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Punjab farmers try religious route to shun pesticides

June 15, 2014 12:00 AM


Ask religious institutions to grow organic crops and accept organic crops as donation for langars


In Punjab, people follow a tradition of donating a part of their food produce to gurudwaras for feeding the poor


Gurlal Singh and Jagdish Singh, farmers from Punjab, say the practice of ensuring food security through langars may actually be poisoning people because of the pesticide-laden good grown in the state


In Pandori Ragsangh village in Amritsar, farmer leader Gurlal Singh takes a large sip of hot milk and asks fellow farmer, Jagdish Singh, about the “poison.” “This year, there is too much of poison,” Jagdish replies. It takes a while to understand that the farmers are discussing lethal pesticides used to grow wheat. While Gurlal and Jagdish have grown organic crops for family consumption on patches of their fields, they feel guilty while donating pesticide-laced food grains for langars or daswants.


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Lab testing of potatoes, green chillies before export mandatory: APEDA

June 13, 2014 08:00 AM


FnB News - Libin Chacko Kurian, Mumbai: Due to the ban imposed by Saudi Arabia on Indian green chillies and Russia’s displeasure about contaminated potatoes from India, the Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA) imposed mandatory laboratory testing of exporting items.


With effect from May 30, 2014, Saudi Arabia had banned the import of green chillies from India due to the presence of a higher-than-permissible level of pesticide residues. In the past, there have been several reported instances of contaminated green chilli consignments in Saudi Arabia.


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Will educate people about pesticides in food: Govt to HC

May 22, 2014 01:48 AM


The Indian Express - Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi, The Delhi government had claimed that it did not have adequate laboratories and could currently test for only 28 varieties of pesticides.


The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued draft regulations for food imports and may soon make it mandatory for importers of food and vegetables to produce test reports from authorised labs to ensure pesticide remains in fruits and vegetables were within prescribed limits.


With the Delhi High Court monitoring the issue of pesticides in food in a PIL, the Central government has filed a status report on the measures recommended by an expert committee created on court orders to suggest methods to contain the problem.


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