Officially, Brazil recorded over 100,000 cases of acute pesticide poisoning with some 3,500 deaths over the past decade – and the official figures undoubtedly underestimate the full extent of toxicity. Nevertheless, the new law will only allow a pesticide to be banned if it can be demonstrated that there exists a ‘scientifically established unacceptable risk’, an infinitely elastic proposition.
Brazil’s already low standards of pesticide protection permit the massive import of dozens of chemical products like paraquat whose use is prohibited in their countries of manufacture.
A manifesto opposing the new law has been supported by over three hundred organizations and social movements, including the IUF-affiliated CONTAG, which organizes rural workers and small farmers.
More information is available (in Spanish) on the website of the IUF Latin American regional secretariat HERE