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British, Indian celebs say ‘pants down’ to harmful pesticide

They are ditching their worst pair of pants to demand a ban on endosulfan used in cotton production 8th July 2009: Celebrities from across the world, British and Bollywood stars included, are saying pants down to harmful pesticide used in cotton production.

They are coming together to ditch their worst pair of pants to demand a ban on pesticide endosulfan. Used in cotton production, it can cause cancer, birth defects, respiratory problems, and sterility among cotton farmers and their families.

Joining the ‘Pants To Poverty’ protests taking place in 16 countries around the world are British TV presenter Dermot O’Leary and Coco de Mer, founder Sam Roddick.

‘Pants To Poverty’, a Fairtrade underwear company, says cotton pants containing traces of the chemical are being sold on the UK high street.

Laboratory tests on 1,000 pairs of pants from UK shops showed one in 50 tested positive for the dangerous pesticide.

As of now, its use has also been banned in 62 countries due to its high toxicity, but is still permitted in developing nations, including India.

Just one pair of non-organic cotton pants can use 10ml of the chemical – enough to kill a person if directly exposed.

Ben Ramsden, founder of ‘Pants To Poverty’ says they are using pants as a metaphor; and the campaign explains both the good and the bad about the cotton industry and points towards a brighter future.

The campaign’s doctor, Dr Mohan Kumar, says the proof against endosulfan is comprehensive. With new research, it can finally be proved that replacing it not only dramatically improves people’s health, but also enables farmers to earn more money and support their communities.

He has also demanded the Indian government must stop producing and exporting this dangerous pesticide.

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