Paul Almacy/WHO

Pesticides are chemical compounds that are used to kill pests, including insects, rodents, fungi and unwanted plants (weeds). Pesticides are used in public health to kill vectors of disease, such as mosquitoes, and in agriculture, to kill pests that damage crops. By their nature, pesticides are potentially toxic to other organisms, including humans, and need to be used safely and disposed off properly.

In April 2008, the Union Cabinet, Government of India gave its approval for the introduction of the Pesticides Management Bill, 2008 in the country. The Bill seeks to regulate the import, manufacture, export, sale, transport, distribution, quality, and use of pesticides to control pests; ensure availability of quality pesticides; minimize contamination of agricultural commodities with pesticide residue, allow use after assessing its efficiency and safety; create awareness on safe and judicious use of pesticides to prevent its risk on human beings, animals or environment. The Central Insecticides Board (CIB) advises Central and State Governments on technical matters. The Registration Committee (RC) approves the use of pesticides and new formulations to tackle the pest problem in various crops. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare monitors the pesticides residue levels in food.