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GIS surveillance studies on pesticide residues sought In India

Following the constitution of a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to check pesticide residuals in food products, the committee has called for surveillance studies for pesticide residues in various foods including water, softdrinks and beverages. The committee has recommended the usage of GIS applications to identify high-risk areas for population, season and food groups in order to map the different agro-climatic zones for identifying the kinds of residues obtained in different climatic areas.

Announcing this at a national seminar on ‘pesticide residues and their risk associates’ organised by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), NK Ganguly, director-general of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that a coordinated research project must be undertaken by ICMR involving Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to evolve a database on the maximum residue levels (MRLs) and acceptable daily intake (ADI) for different food products.

From the database on food consumption profile and residue content, no observable adverse effect levels (NOAEL) must be arrived, he said, adding that NIN has already submitted the proposals to the ministry of health and family welfare. Further,monitoring of pesticide residues in different geographical regions by accredited laboratories coupled with extension and education activities to the farming community is the need of the hour, he added.