The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare recently restricted the use of glyphosate, a widely used herbicide, citing health hazards for humans and animals.
- Glyphosate is a widely used herbicide that can kill certain weeds and grasses.
- Glyphosate works by blocking an enzyme essential for plant growth.
- In India, glyphosate use was approved only for tea crop and non-crop areas for control of weeds.
- Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are the major tea plantation states in India.
- But glyphosate consumption is higher in states that do not have tea crops.
- It is being widely and indiscriminately used in paddy fields by farmers.
- The surface casting activity of vertically burrowing earthworms almost ceased after three weeks and reproduction of soil dwellers reduced by 56 per cent within three months after herbicide application.
- There are long-term negative consequences for honey bee navigation, contamination of water bodies and serious health hazards.