ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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No Endosulfan-related Health Challenges in Kasaragod?

A Response

Responding to K M Sreekumar and K D Prathapan’s paper “An Evidence-based Inquiry into the Endosul­fan Tragedy in Kasaragod, Kerala” (EPW, 9 October 2021, pp 45–53), some of the data from the original paper is reanalysed to arrive at different conclusions.

The authors thank Emily Marquez for a detailed review of the manuscript and for providing several useful suggestions.

The paper by K M Sreekumar and K D Prathapan, “An Evidence-based Inquiry into the Endosulfan Tragedy in Kasaragod, Kerala” (EPW9 October 2021, pp 45–53), attempted a substantive review and critique of the relevant literature and creatively identified quantitative data sets to understand the health situation in the endosulfan-exposed areas of Kasaragod district, Kerala.

To summarise the main points that were made in their paper: (i) the authors agreed on the need to ban endosulfan, based on the application of the precautionary principle; (ii) they reported that the prevalence of health concerns attributed to endosulfan exposure (such as physical abnormalities) was not higher in sprayed areas compared to unsprayed areas, according to their analysis of secondary data; (iii) they challenged attributing local diseases and disorders to endosulfan and the compensation for this that has been earmarked by the Kerala government; and finally (iv) they believed that the activists involved in seeking justice for endosulfan-affected communities blew the issue out of proportion, and were the reason for health problems being attributed to endosulfan, and for the chemical being globally labelled as a persistent organic pollutant, thereby preventing further scientific studies in Kasaragod.

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Updated On : 6th Dec, 2023
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