For European Chemical Giants, Brazil Is an Open Market for Toxic Pesticides Banned at Home | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

For European Chemical Giants, Brazil Is an Open Market for Toxic Pesticides Banned at Home

Brazil is the world’s largest user of pesticides, including more than a dozen considered highly hazardous, thanks to permissive legislation that allows some of Europe’s biggest agrochemical companies to continue selling products that have been banned in their home market.

The toxicity of these pesticides has raised concerns: 22 of them are classified as highly hazardous pesticides, or HHPs, by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN), a global coalition that advocates for eco-friendly alternatives to chemical pesticides. The classification is based on criteria developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): in humans, they can be toxic to the reproductive system, damaging to DNA, or carcinogenic, as well as fatal to bees and other pollinators.

Even though these products have been banned in other countries, companies like Bayer, BASF and Syngenta make millions of dollars selling them in Brazil. According to IBAMA, the Brazilian environmental agency, more than 63,000 tonnes of just 10 of these 22 pesticides were sold in 2018. Sales of the other 12 products were not reported because of commercial confidentiality; IBAMA only discloses data on active ingredients manufactured by three or more companies. It also doesn’t break down the amounts sold by each company.

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