Brothers Kuldeep and Sandeep had eaten cucumber from their field

Fifteen birds, including 13 peacocks and peahens, were found dead in the fields of Khunga village of the district here this morning.

Cases of acute pesticide poisoning (APP) account for significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Developing countries are particularly susceptible due to poorer regulation, lack of surveillance systems, less enforcement, lack of training and inadequate access to information systems. March 2008

eleven peafowl found dead in Punjab were killed by food contaminated with pesticides. Nine peahens and two peacocks died in Ladhowal forest area near Ludhiana on December 26. The state forest

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The Peruvian government and Bayer, a multinational pesticide manufacturer, have been held responsible by the citizen's tribunal for the 1999 pesticide poisoning deaths of 24 schoolchildren in Tauccamarca. The children died after drinking a milk substitute contaminated with methyl parathion (sold by Bayer). Two schoolchildren, by mistake, took a bag of government-supplied milk substitute mixed with the pesticide to be served in school. The result was tragic. The tribunal blamed Bayer for failing to implement basic safety precautions to prevent misuse of methyl parathion.

As many as 13 cows died after consuming poison at Daldi village in Wankaner Taluka of Rajkot district on Sunday afternoon.

The standard treatment for patients who have attempted suicide by drinking pesticide -- a major problem in parts of rural South Asia including Sri Lanka -- is essentially useless, according to a study. Activated charcoal, taken orally, has long been prescribed as an antidote for self-inflicted poisoning, as it is thought to absorb toxins in the stomach and prevent them from entering the bloodstream. But a large clinical study of 4,500 patients, published in today's issue of The Lancet, has found that the carbon powder has no discernible effect. A team of researchers led by Michael Eddleston of the Scottish Poisons Information Bureau in Edinburgh compared three different treatments for suicide attempts in rural Sri Lanka in 2002 and 2003. A third of the subjects were given a single, 50-gramme dose of charcoal, and one third were given six 50-gramme doses at four-hour intervals. For the last third, activated charcoal was omitted entirely from the treatment administered, according to the study. Mortality rates for all three groups showed no statistically significant difference, varying by less than one percent. On average, 6.8 percent of the patients died as a result of the poisoning. The percentage needing intubation for breathing, or suffering from seizures, was likewise similar across the three sets of patients, with a slightly lower incidence among those who received multiple doses of charcoal. Just over half -- 51 percent -- of the subjects ingested industrial insecticides and 36 percent swallowed toxic seeds from yellow oleander, a common roadside plant throughout most of south Asia. In 2006, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that nearly 900,000 suicides occurred each year -- more than from homicides and wars combined -- of which 250,000 occurred from poisoning by agricultural chemicals. In China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka between 60 and 90 percent of all suicides were due to ingestion of pesticides and the incidence was rising in many other countries in Asia, it said. Compared to industrialised countries, the mortality rate for attempted suicides is 10-to-50 times higher in the rural developing world. The effectiveness of charcoal has long been debated, and Eddleston's findings will probably not go unchallenged. A previous study, also conducted in Sri Lanka and published in The Lancet in 2003, determined that multiple doses of activated charcoal halved mortality rates compared to a control group. But this apparent breakthrough may have been false, as the earlier trial used large doses of atropine, noted Peter and Florian Eyer, researchers at the University of Munich, in a commentary, also in The Lancet. Atropine is a drug derived from the plant deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) that relieves spasms of the gastrointestinal tract, thus reducing secretions of stomach acid.

Punjab's Malwa region, south of the Sutlej river, grabbed national attention a couple of years ago when its steeply rising cancer graph came to light. Studies had revealed the link between heavy