Right to Information confirms flaws in NIOH study
RTI applicant and Scientific Experts expose fundamental flaws in study
Announcement / Corporate February 11, 2011, 18:22 IST
In a press conference held today an expert panel of lawyers and scientists shared details of how The Right to Information Act (RTI) helped expose and confirm the fundamental flaws in a scientific study on pesticide residue analysis by the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH), Ahmadabad. The NIOH study titled “Final Report of the Investigation of unusual illnesses allegedly produced by exposure in Padre village of Kasargod district (N.Kerala)” and related reports have been cited at Stockholm Convention while proposing a listing of Endosulfan as a Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP). If European Union (EU) proposal for listing Endosulfan as POP is accepted by the Conference of Parties in April 2011, millions farmers in India will lose their right to choose an affordable, pollinator friendly crop protection solution. In view of its national importance, several scientific committees established by the Govt. of India had reviewed the NIOH report. These committees concluded that there is no link established in the use of Endosulfan and the health problems reported in Padre Village in Kerala. Raw data obtained through the RTI have now confirmed the findings of these committees.
Present at the conference was the RTI applicant, Dr. Jyotsna Kapadia who investigated the scientific errors. According to Dr. Kapadia, “the analysis of raw data relating to the endosulfan study obtained from the NIOH confirms that the NIOH final report is indeed erroneous, inconsistent, suffers from incorrect representation of facts and therefore invalid and scientifically untenable”. The NIOH study has caused irreparable harm to Indian farmers and according to chemical industry sources the loss to the Indian industry on account of the flawed NIOH study could be as high as Rs 1200 crores shared S Ganesan, Chairman – International Treaties Expert Committee of Indian Chemical Council. On the strength of the RTI expose and “In view of the procedural and technical flaws, falsified data, omissions, errors, misrepresentation of facts, the NIOH study report and allied publications must be withdrawn immediately” added Ganesan.