COIMBATORE: Representatives of the Tea Board slammed NGO Greenpeace for allegedly preparing a false report claiming the presence of pesticide Monocrotophos in Indian produce. The officials said that the report was aimed at destroying Indian tea’s global market presence at the instance of some Western Countries.
Greenpeace India in its report ‘Trouble Brewing’ claimed presence of pesticides in Indian tea. According to it, some samples tested positive for Monocrotophos, a hazardous pesticide.
However, stating that Monocrotophos was banned in the country in 2005, R Ambalavanan, Executive Director, Tea Board South India, said, “Our country is a big competitor of China and Sri Lanka in the global tea market. The report may have been motivated by some Western countries with vested-interests to degrade Indian tea market value.”
Questioning the veracity of the report, Ambalavanan wondered how the tea industry, which had ISO certification, managed to export produce with pesticide content. “The report is completely false. The board is committed to satisfying customers with quality and hygienic products.
I have not seen small growers in places like The Nilgiris applying pesticides more than three times annually, as the cost of pesticides have skyrocketed,” he added
Ambalavanana said that the small growers have started taking up organic methods instead of pesticides.
According to N Sumathi, secretary of Eswarar Small Tea Growers Development Society, “Pesticides are not widely used in The Nilgiris, as growers have opted for organic methods in the last decade.”