The Slow Poisoning of India
Directed By Ramesh Menon
“Our greatest weakness may be food, but this mouthwatering meal may have around half a milligram of pesticides in it. If that has to be quantified, it is less than a pinprick. But do you realize that this would mean that you are ingesting pesticide that is more than forty times what an average American would consume?”
The Slow Poisoning of India is a 26-minute documentary film directed by Ramesh Menon and produced by the New Delhi-based The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). It deals with the dangers of excessive use of pesticide in agriculture. India is one of the largest users of pesticide in Asia and also one of the largest manufactures. The toxins have entered into the food chain and into our breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The film showcases startling case studies from Kerala where villagers in Kasaragod district are paying a heavy price as it has been exposed to pesticide spraying for many years. It talks of the health impacts in other parts of India and also on how the magic of the green revolution in Punjab is fading as land and water bodies have been poisoned.
But some farmers are bouncing back into better practices, and this is a silver lining shown towards the end. “Many farmers are now switching from chemical to organic farming as they see that it is the only way out of getting into a spiraling whirlpool of debt created by the high cost of pesticides. Farmers like Tokia Modu in Warangal are waging a silent biological war against pests and are winning.”
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