State Agriculture Department Raids Manufacturer of Illegal Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks in Kolkata
· It has been alleged that Subho Aromatics and DS Industries manufactures unapproved, pesticide-laced & spurious Yash Killer and Babaji Relax Citronella Agarbati
· Such incense sticks cause multiple health hazards to citizens in the form of respiro-thoracic breathing & allergy-attack problems
Kolkata, October 10, 2019: The Department of Agriculture, West Bengal has commenced legal action against pesticide-laced spurious mosquito repellent incense sticks and condemned its manufacturing and selling in the state. The Agriculture Department along with Home Insect Control Association (HICA) raided plants of Subho Aromatics and DS Industries, manufacturer of illegal incense sticks based in Kolkata. These companies manufacture unapproved and pesticide-laced mosquito repellent incense sticks like Yash Killer and Babaji Relax Citronella Agarbatti.
Pesticide laced spurious incense sticks cause serious health hazards. Thus, it is a criminal offence to manufacture or sell them. HICA, a non-profit making industry body promoting safe use of household insecticides, lodged a complaint with the Department of Agriculture, an enforcing authority under Insecticide Act in the State of West Bengal, against mosquito repellent incense sticks manufactured by Subho Aromatics (Dangapara Battala) and DS Industries (Dargatala) located in Kolkata. The department directed its agricultural offices in the city to initiate action. The Agriculture Department has collected incense sticks samples for testing and will prosecute the manufacturers as per the results of the test.
Commenting on this issue, Mr. Jayant Deshpande, Secretary & Director, Home Insect Control Association (HICA), said,‘Incense sticks are getting manufactured and sold with compounds made from various unapproved pesticide formulations which are not tested for toxicity. Thus, it turns out to be filled with harmful chemicals producing strong odour and smoke. Making or selling such incense sticks is a punishable offence. We aim to mark an end to the sale and manufacturing of illegal incense sticks by holding the manufacturers and sellers responsible in the court of law.’
Misleading branded incense sticks are being sold across West Bengal under the names of Night Out Herbal Agarbatti, Relax, Relief, Balaji Relax, Babaji Relax, Happy Night Stick, HI Power and several other similar names. Incense sticks laced with pesticides/ agro chemicals are being manufactured, stored and sold without proper insecticide license from the State Agricultural Department- West Bengal. As per The Central Insecticide Board, Faridabad, this is in breach of the Insecticides Act 1968/Rules thereunder.
“Increased usage of these illegal pesticide-laced mosquito repellent incense sticks can cause multiple health disorders such as genetic mutations, lung cancer, asthma and other respiratory diseases, leukaemia, heart disease, skin irritation, and neurological problems. There has been a considerable increase in the number of children (in the age bracket of 5-12 years) suffering from multiple respiratory issues. HICA is working to safeguard the consumer interest by taking meaningful action to stop the sale of harmful incense sticks.”, added Mr. Deshpande.
In June, 2019, taking action against pesticide-laced spurious mosquito repellent incense sticks, Akhand Bharat Jan Kalyaan Sewa Sansthan, a prominent NGO, conducted awareness campaigns along with the local police in Galsi Bazaar of Bardhaman. This campaign was conducted for wholesalers and retailers to inform them that selling illegal mosquito repellent incense sticks is a criminal offence. There were educated about harmful effects of unapproved mosquito repellent incense sticks to public health. Authorities also confiscated illegal incense sticks like Relax incense sticks, Balaji Relax Agarbatti, Babaji Relax Happy Night Stick and Hi Power; as they are spurious and pose threat to people’s health.
About HOME INSECT CONTROL ASSOCIATION (HICA)
HOME INSECT CONTROL ASSOCIATION (HICA) is a premier organization established 1991 to give impetus to the domestic Home Insecticides sector, to facilitate the members of the Association for the overall safety of the environment and to educate the public about the healthy and proper use of the home insecticides for a pest free life, and to introduce self-regulation and governance by the member industry.