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With tea plantations being one of the foremost agricultural dominions in this country, the consumption of tea is also humongous. However, very few of us show concern regarding the elements which are vehemently used in tea farming, be it fertilizers, pesticides or insecticides.

There is an exceeding hue and cry regarding the use of chemical-laced pesticides. A demanding request to use organic materials and replace the chemical ones is prevalent for decades. The Tea Board of India has been reported about such demands, and the board has been asked to provide a set of approved substances which can be used as pesticides. Following such requests, the Tea Board of India has provided with a set of pesticides in its Plant Protection Code (PPC).

According to the Tea Board of India, PPCs are indispensable contributions in tea farming for attaining the best possible yield in accord with current Indian conditions. In fact, the board also stated that PPC must concentrate on conscientious chemical management through appropriate selection, thoughtful usage, secured storage and suitable disposal, work-related physical condition and security and green chemistry.

In lieu of the approved pesticides, it was noted that a majority of the authorized pesticides are chemical-based. The sanctity of maintaining healthy tea agriculture is wholly smashed by Tea Board's introduction of such inorganic pesticides. Although it cannot be denied that the set of approved pesticides are beneficial, but there's enormous list of irreversible damages which can engulf, upon using such inorganic substances. The most ironical facet looming here is that the initiation of PPC is an attempt to diminish the potentially harmful impact of pesticides on humans, wildlife, and the environment.

For instance, the approved set of pesticides contains Sulphur 80 WP, which is used as an Acaricide. One of the primary adverse effects of Sulphur 80 WP lies in the physiological functioning of plants by negatively disturbing plant metabolism. Moreover, the substance can lead to adverse health effects in operators, workers, bystanders, and residents. Another insecticide from the approved list - Bifenthrin 8 SC – is a Category C carcinogen, according to US Environmental Protection Agency. Bifenthrin 8 SC can cause nausea, headaches, hypersensitivity for touch and sound, and irritation of the skin and the eyes. Copper oxychloride 50 WP, which is used as a fungicide, can retard the growth of plants. It can also affect the ocular system by corroding of the cornea. In extreme cases, the chemical can burst of blood cells, leading to circulatory collapse and distress.

Furthermore, the approved set contains such substances which can cause liver weight reduction thus directly leading to organ failure. In addition, such chemicals may also affect the male reproductive system. It can be detrimental to the male reproductive organ, chiefly testicular atrophy.

While the protests against the approved substances have escalated, the concerned authority has been utterly reluctant. The Tea Board of India is absolutely unburdened by the cry against such substances and its detrimental effects.


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