The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh held a review meeting of the health officials along with the officials of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) among numerous others on the recent Eluru mysterious disease.
In this meeting the experts from these institutions confirmed residues of Pesticides as the reason for the outbreak of the disease. AIIMS confirmed the presence of the lead and nickel in the milk samples collected in Eluru and its surrounding areas and lead content in the blood of the patients and pointed out the presence of organochlorine entered through the pesticides as the reason for the disease.
The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) through its research revealed the presence of harmful pesticides in the Tomatoes and Brinjal. Experts from the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and National Environmental Research Institute (NEERI) had revealed that nothing significant was found in their research.
CM Jagan Reddy had directed the officials to make farmers aware of organic farming, and withdrawal of the harmful pesticides from the market along with the strengthening of the public health labs in the state and directed the officials to do regular testing and take up necessary actions accordingly.
Even though it is too early to judge on the changes intended, many experts were skeptical about the implementation on ground as the government doesn’t have a specific policy in promoting organic farming as in the case of the previous government. It is high time the governments should come up with the policies promoting organic farming, as the Eluru incident was just a small indication of the health hazards people will be facing in the case of continuous usage of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.