Pesticides, the poison of agribusiness, pollute food and the environment

Friday, April 15, 2011

agribusinessThe coming together of financial capital and the large farming estates has brought about what is called ‘modern’ agribusiness. The logic of land exploitation – large expanses; monocropping; the growing of grains just for export; mechanization and low salaries – needs yet another poisonous ingredient: more than a billion liters of pesticides spread over Brazil’s farmland, in 2009 alone. This means that every Brazilian consumes approximately 5.2 liters (1.4 gallons) of poison each year, through contaminated food and water. The impact of these products on human health, as much that of those of handle them directly (rural workers), as well as that of communities and consumers, is great, including countless reported cases of neurological problems, poor fetal growth, cancer and even deaths.

In 2009, Brazil became the world’s biggest consumer of these products. The excessive use of pesticides reflects the image of agribusiness: despite all of their “technological advances”, they have not managed to create a production model and farming techniques that guarantee the production of healthy food for the population. That is because it is not in the interests of agribusiness.

Agribusiness evicts farmers from the countryside, destroys the land, fills its large plots with machines and poison, pays its few workers poorly and for what? To sell soybeans and sugar cane to other countries. They are on their way to approving GMOs – even though the potential health risks have not yet been proven –; they want to loosen up the Forest Code by any means, so that they can deforest even more without having to take any responsibility for it. To sum it up, they want to turn Brazil into a large colony to be exploited, the backyard of the transnational corporations.

That is why we are joining with more than 20 entities of Brazilian civil society, social movements, environmental entities and groups of researchers in the “Permanent Campaign against Pesticides and for Life”.

The campaign aims to open up a debate with the population about the impacts of these poisons on the health of workers, rural communities and urban consumers, the contamination of soil and water and also denounce the lack of regulation of the use, consumption and sale of pesticides.

The campaign foresees a number of events all over the country. On April 7th in Brasilia, more than three thousand people attended an event denouncing the responsibility of agribusiness in the abusive use of pesticides in the country.

Take part in this campaign to bring an end to the use of pesticides!

Learn more about the campaign at: