He said the claims of DuPont, as purportedly shown in the commercials, had been negated in scientific tests and according to the scientific reports of various institutions, Coragen could only be used to control termite, early shoot borer and top borer, and that the chemical did not enhance crop yield.
“For the misleading publicity of DuPont about an increase in vegetative growth of sugarcane by Coragen, a notice would be served on the company,” he said.
Bhoosreddy said while he had taken suo moto cognisance of the company’s claims in the light of the various scientific reports, the department had also received complaints in this regard. He advised sugarcane farmers to avoid the excessive and unbalanced use of insecticides for controlling insects and pests in the cash crop, which impacts about 4 million rural households in the state.
He warned that excessive use of insecticides could damage soil health while causing economic loss to farmers owing to steep pricing, which would increase production cost. He claimed that the farmers, influenced by the wide publicity of Coragen, had also been overusing the insecticide in the hope of enhancing yield.
“Due to the unbridled use of insecticide in sugarcane, there is a possibility of chemical traces finding way to sugar as well and affecting human health on consumption,” he underlined.
The department has cited reports by three prominent sugarcane scientific institutions to buttress its claims. These institutions are Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research (IISR), Lucknow; UP Council for Sugarcane Research (IICSR), Shahjahanpur; and National Sugar Institute, Kanpur.