On August 8, the Indian government took action to ban 18 highly dangerous (‘hazardous’) pesticides from use in the country. Twelve of these pesticides were banned from that date; six others will be phased out over the next two years. The decision follows a long process of deliberation that included the 2015 Anupam Verma committee report (which recommended this approach), public litigation case by activists to speed government action and a Supreme Court case. This is a significant step that will have long-term benefits. As the recent decision comes into force, it will be important to study its impact on agriculture, environment and the health of the nation.