(Part 3 of 3 part series on the usage of Rice and what we need to be cautious of)
Danitol – This contains: Fenpropathrin as an active ingredient. It’s classified as extremely toxic chemical and has the following side effects: if it touches the skin its irritating: prickling, tingling or creeping; fatal if inhaled; toxic if ingested; causes eyes irritation, abnormal facial sensation, numbness, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, fatigue, and fluid in the lungs and muscle twitching. It’s highly toxic to aquatic life. Workers and people who apply it in the fields are may be exposed to the fumes and MUST WEAR Protective clothing and face gear. Not environmentally safe.
AFTER RICE IS HARVESTED AND SOLD, SOME PESTICIDES REMAIN.
The following have been found in rice after harvesting piperonyl butoxide (16.2 %) and MGK-264 ( 8.7 %). Malathion, permethrin and propiconazole (all at >2%).
Piperonyl butoxide. Is used in conjunction with other chemicals to increase their effectiveness and listed as a possible human carcinogen by the EPA. Its environmental effects: moderately toxic to freshwater and saltwater fish and moderately to highly toxic to aquatic invertebrates, such as water fleas and shrimp. At lower, long-term doses, water flea reproduction was affected. PBO is highly toxic to amphibians in the tadpole stage. PBO is also practically non-toxic to bees by itself.
MGK-264. Used for boosting the effects of other chemicals on killing insects and is moderately toxic to fish and water fleas. It’s practically non-toxic to birds and mammals; no studies look at bee toxicity. In water, it can remain without breaking down. In soil, it is broken down very slowly and has a half-life of about 341 days. When liquid products dry on surfaces, MGK-264 has a moderate ability to move into air as vapour.
Permethrin. Is a synthetic chemical belonging to the pyrethroid insecticide family and its Side Effects include: If it touches the skin it may cause irritation, tingling, burning and itching; In the eyes, it may cause redness, pain or burning and if ingested it may cause sore throat, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. This can happen if you don’t wash your hands since Permethrin does not evaporate very easily when it is applied to surfaces of plants pavement, etc. If breathed may cause irritation in the nose and lungs, difficulty breathing, headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. U.S. EPA decided that permethrin was “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” if it was eaten. Microorganisms break it up in the soil, and sunlight can break it down on the surface of water and soil. Permethrin does not mix well with water and it sticks very strongly to sediment and can stay there over a year, as a result, it doesn’t usually contaminate groundwater. Scientists found trace amounts of the permethrin residue in the edible parts of the plants at 30 and 120 days after planting. Permethrin is highly toxic to fish, to bees and other beneficial insects and other animals that live in either saltwater or freshwater. Permethrin is low in toxicity to birds, but some aerosol products made with it may also contain other ingredients that can harm birds if they inhale it.
Propiconazole The EPA considers it a possible human carcinogen fungicide. If ingested it irritates the mucous membrane of the stomach, digestive tracts and respiratory tract and may cause endocrine issues. Although excreted from the body through urine and faeces, traces have been found in the kidneys, blood, and liver (where is maybe a toxin). High temperature decomposes propiconazole producing toxic vapours. Workers and applicators must wear protective gear and be covered from head to toe. Environmental unsound for it contaminates water and is highly toxic to fish. Has low toxicity to birds and bees, but can break down into substances that are toxic to earth dwelling life and bird-like organisms.
Now that you have read only a few pesticides and fumigates used on rice, I’d like you to go to this site and click on it. http://www.onlyorganic.org/ It is a satire on what chemicals the governments around the world are allowing to be put into your body. They allow all these in food preparation from growing to packaging and not just rice but all food. Enjoy the smorgasbord (banquet). You truly are a corporate waste dump for chemical engineers and scientists.
A RAY OF HOPE
Due to new concepts of integrated pest management (IPM), a new group of pesticides have emerged. These are safe for honey bees, aquatic animals and also for useful predators in the crop. Like Pymetrozen brand name Chess introduced by Syngenta and fluebendmide brand name Fame by Bayer Crop Science and many safe and Environment-friendly chemical are sold by Du Pont Dow, BASF. There is also biochar that helps the soil tremendously to re-nourish soil. The International Rice Research Institute has said, “that rice in India can be grown without pesticides.” and that “Indian farmers are capable of growing rice with traditional knowledge.” They should mill only small amounts of their harvest so they don’t need chemicals. There is another type of natural gardening called Regenerative agriculture.
Here is a beautiful story about an organic farmer, Rajesh Krishnan who boasts of not having sprayed even a drop of pesticide in his ten-acre paddy field at Thrissilerry in Wayanad for over four years now. He has successfully kept destructive rice pests like the leaf roller (Cnaphalocrocis medinalis) and stem borer (Scirpophaga incertulas) at bay using traditional techniques.
Rajesh has been protecting his rice plants against the leaf roller by sweeping them with branches of the ‘Parakam’ tree. The rough leaves of the tree dislodge the caterpillars from the leaves. These caterpillars fall into the water, which is immediately drained out. Here are a few things that organic farmers use in India: crop rotation, intercropping, maintaining crop diversity, and organic pesticides (They use organic matter like leaves, cow dung and parts of plants and belief in environmentally friendly approaches.) Most Indian farmers use neem as a natural pesticide, farmers in Nepal spray ‘Zhol Mol’ an organic liquid pesticide made of neem leaves, Timur (a Nepali spice), garlic, livestock urine, and water to their vegetables and fruits. India’s rank in terms of World’s Organic Agricultural land was 9th and in terms of the total number of producers was 1st as per 2018 data and the good news is that the India government has created a National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP). A lovely article appeared in MINT-Bangluru newspaper June 12, 2018, entitled “ How Andhra Pradesh is taking to “natural farming- State govt plans to take zero budget natural framing to 6 million farmers by 2024. A Group called Food Revolution Network. (https://foodrevolution.org/) helped create a movie called: The Need To Grow. It deals with powerful information on why soil health is so critical to protecting our world and our health.