Brazilian Congress will vote law on agricultural pesticides | News

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The Brazilian Congress plans to vote this Wednesday on the bill on agricultural pesticides, aimed at making the legislation for the use of said substances more flexible, as well as opening the market to new ones.


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In addition, according to those who promote the project, it would mean modernizing the current law on this issue, as well as incorporating measures that reduce prices in the sector and help eliminate bureaucracy.

Promoted by a special commission mostly made up of deputies related to agribusiness, the law, described by the opposition as a "poison package" due to its possible negative environmental impact, plans to transform the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply into the main body responsible for pesticide registration.

As well as establishing an eternal registry of pesticides so that, once the chemicals are released, they cannot be suspended, even if their highly harmful nature is proven; and paving the entry of agrochemicals en masse, including many carcinogens and banned in European countries.

Currently, this registry goes through Ibama, Anvisa and MAPA, entities that if the law is approved could only evaluate or approve evaluations, which would considerably reduce their regulatory capacity.

In this regard, the member of Abrasco's Health and Environment Thematic Group and Fiocruz toxicologist, Karen Friedrich, warned that "we have a federal government and a legislature that do not care about health and the environment, dismantling and persecuting environmentalists, leaders of traditional peoples and communities, and even inspection bodies.”

At the same time, he warned that the approval of the poison project would become an unprecedented disaster for the history of the nation, which in 2021 saw a new record set in the release of pesticides for commercial use, reaching the record number of 550 agrochemicals in circulation, according to data provided by the Ministry of Agriculture.

An upward trend evidenced since 2016 and after the removal of the then president Dilma Roussef, since 277 products were launched that same year; another 404 new poisons the following year; and 449 in 2018.

During the administration of the current president Jair Bolsonaro, the numbers have continued to rise, since in 2019 474 pesticides were released, and in 2020 this figure rose to 493, a sign of the indulgence of the current administration with this phenomenon.

Faced with this problem established as a priority by the Executive for 2022, scientific institutions and civil society propose the implementation and execution of the National Policy for Agroecology and Organic Production (Pnapo), and the National Policy for the Reduction of Pesticides (Pnara), in for the sake of producing healthy food and preserving the environment.

Pnara proposes to end the subsidies and fiscal benefits for the use of pesticides, its periodic evaluation every ten years; and encourage government purchases of food from production systems without pesticides, organic or agroecological.

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