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Monday, April 15, 2019

Pesticide sample fails test, firm in dock


Pesticide sample fails test, firm in dock

Kulwinder Sandhu

Tribune News Service

Moga, April 14

The Moga pesticide scam has further deepened with laboratory evidences now coming to the surface regarding the quality failure of an insecticide manufactured and marketed by Bayer Crop Science Limited.

According to an official document of the state Agriculture Department, one sample of ‘Pencycuron’, an insecticide manufactured and marketed by Bayer company, has failed quality test in a government lab.

A senior official of the department said ‘Pencycuron’ in actual contained 22.9 per cent chemical composition of pencycuron, but during lab this chemical was found to be just 17.3 per cent, which means that the insecticide sample in total contained about 25 per cent impurities. In other words its efficiency was 25 per cent less as compared to the actual product.

The Agriculture Department has issued a show-cause notice to Bayer company and sought a reply within 15 days failing which legal action could be initiated against it.

Head of the Communications Department of Bayer Crop Science Limited Saswati Panigrahi admitted that a sample of ‘Pencycuron’ had failed the quality test in a state government laboratory. However, she admitted that as per a communiqué sent by the Agriculture Department to Bayer company on April 12, a report of the Regional Pesticides Testing Laboratory, Chandigarh, has termed this sample ‘misbranded’.

She claimed that the sample of this insecticide was drawn on August 24, 2018, while the regional pesticides test report was dated March 25. During this period, the company did not receive any notice from the government authorities. Recently officials of the Agriculture Department claimed that ‘Fame’, a pesticide (insecticide), marketed by the Bayer company had failed the quality tests.

CM for tough action

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has issued instructions to all agriculture and horticulture development officials to keep strict watch on the pesticide trade and book companies/traders found selling spurious or substandard pesticides as per provisions of law. “We need to put a check on the sale of spurious pesticides as it may harm economic interests of the farming community,” he said. 

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