Acting on advice of an expert committee, the Centre will ban use of 18 pesticides in India as it involves risk to humans and animals.
The Union agriculture ministry has issued an order, asking manufacturers, importers and state authorities to completely ban 12 of the identified pesticides from January 1, 2018 and remaining six from December 31, 2020.
Though these were banned or restricted in other areas, they continued to be used in India. Some of these were heavily toxic for honey bees and birds.
Use of these pesticides also contaminates water bodies and thereby affects aquatic organisms.
The decision to ban these pesticides is taken after considering recommendations of an expert committee, headed by former national professor of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) Anupam Varma.
The committee, constituted in July 2013, had reviewed use of 66 pesticides which are banned or restricted in many countries.
Since the ban will come into force beginning early next year, the ministry has instructed current importers and manufacturers to incorporate in the label and leaflet of the product about the danger associated with the use of specific pesticide to water bodies and aquaculture or its toxic effect to human being, honey bees and birds.