Paraquat: India's Deadly Weedkiller

EU exports of toxic pesticides to LMICs exposed

Paraquat: India's Deadly Weedkiller              Paraquat, like many pesticides which are banned in the EU due to their toxicity, is still shipped to countries with weaker regulations. In India, the stories linked to this killer herbicide have taken a tragic turn because it is used as a means of suicide, as this RSI report reveals.
Paraquat is so deadly that one sip can be fatal – whilst chronic exposure to it, even whilst wearing protective gear, can cause Parkinson’s disease. In Burla hospital, the disastrous effects of the weed killer can be seen. Dr Shankar Ramchandani, also known as ‘Doctor Paraquat’ treats dozens of patients daily: “just a tea spoon, and there is nothing to do.” One patient, the 18-year old Shiva, with “blisters on his tongue,” had not intended to end his life - “he took a sip from the first bottle he found.” Since the introduction of Paraquat, “over 95% of attempted suicides have been fatal.” D. Ramchandani works tirelessly to get this poison banned, but there is resistance from farmers, who fear the economic ramifications of this decision, and are willing to take the risk.

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