Since excessive use of antibiotics on animals can cause harm to humans consuming their meat and other products, there is need for stronger regulation.
“149 types of pesticide residues have been classified as potentially harmful to human health and environment by the FSSAI and a panel from FSSAI has further recommended adding 60-70 more remnants to be brought under the prohibited list” said Dr. A.K. Sharma, Consultant at Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) at a talk titled ‘The Food – Pesticides and Plastics in It!’ held at India International Center in New Delhi recently.
Dr Sharma also felt an urgent need for FSSAI to make stronger regulations on animal products as WHO has issued a warning on excessive use of antibiotics on animals.
Dr Sharma pointed out how pesticides are a major source of poisoning worldwide: “Three million agricultural workers in the developing world experience poisoning from pesticides concludes a report published by UN Environment Programme in 2014. The same report states that 25 million unorganised sector and industrial workers in the developing world may suffer from mild pesticide poisoning” he said. He highlighted that pesticide consumption accounted for a large percentage of poisoning deaths as 1/3 of poisoning deaths worldwide are attributed to their consumption. He favored restricting the sale of more potent pesticides.
Dr Sharma also shared that the same report attributed approximately 80,000 deaths every year to inadequate regulations and safety precautions on pesticides. 99% of pesticide related deaths occur in the developing world, he said.
Dr Sharma said that research has linked many of the pesticides to several health problems.
“American Association of Pediatrics has strictly advised limiting children’s access to pesticides and the 2014 edition of Epidemiological Review established correlation between Autism and exposure to certain categories of pesticides. Impact of pesticides on reproductive hormones and their correlation to cancers, especially lymphoma and leukemia is also well documented.” he explained.