This 12 May 2019 video says about itself:
Water contaminated by pesticides causes fear in Brazil
A recent study found high levels of pesticides in the drinking water of about 25% of Brazil’s cities. These results have activists worried, with Brazilian agriculture heavily dependent on one chemical component. CGTN’s Paulo Cabral reports from Sao Paulo.
Translated from Peter Speetjens in the Netherlands, 1 November 2019:
Now the European consumer is also getting poison from Brazilian products
Brazil sprays food with products banned in the EU
Brazil was already the largest pesticide user in the world, but under President Jair Bolsonaro the country is becoming increasingly toxic. And that is also a danger to public health in Europe.
Forbidden to spray in Europe, but Brazilian farmers are still allowed to use them: a whole list of pesticides. They are used on Brazilian agricultural fields, and that also endangers the health of Europe. The European Union (EU) and the South American trade bloc Mercosur recently concluded a free trade agreement principle. If all member states ratify that principle, it opens the door wide for the European import of Brazilian agricultural products. The question is: do we want that?
The regulations for using pesticides are much more flexible in Brazil than in the EU. Numerous substances banned in Europe are permitted in Brazil. And it certainly doesn’t get any better with the governments of recent years.
Since President Dilma Rousseff was deposed in 2016 and a right-wing government came to power (first under Michel Temer, then under Jair Bolsonaro), more than 1200 new pesticides have been approved. 193 of those pesticides contain ingredients that are banned in the EU. Before 2016, just over a hundred new pesticides entered the Brazilian market every year. In the first six months of this year alone, there were 239. That is more than in the entire EU in the last eight years.
“It is not the only indication that the situation is deteriorating,” says Larissa Mies Bombardi, professor of social geography at the University of São Paolo. “Between 2007 and 2014 there were 3,100 acute pesticide poisoning annually. In 2017 there were 5238, an increase of 45 percent. The number of people who died from it rose from 148 to 194 a year. ”
“We also see the largest increase in pesticide use in areas that are part of the Amazon biotope,” she continues. “It illustrates how Brazilian agriculture invades more and more north into the rainforest.”
A poison atlas
Larissa Mies Bombardi published the Geografia do Uso do Agrotoxicos no Brasil e Connexaoes com o Uniao Europa two years ago. It is an atlas that maps Brazilian pesticide use in agriculture in all sorts of ways and the links with Europe.
According to the Brazilian Institute for Environment and Sustainable Natural Resources (IBAMA), Brazil spent more than $ 10 billion in 2017 on nearly 540,000 tons of pesticides. That is one-fifth of the global demand. More than half (52 percent) was intended for Brazilian soy cultivation. It has increased tenfold in the last fifty years. The majority of the soy is destined for export to China and the EU.
Moreover, in 2017, 20 percent of all Brazilian pesticides were destined for maize and sugar cane. In other words, 72 percent of the 540 million tons of agricultural poison was destined to spray only three Brazilian crops. …
About 30 percent of all pesticides in Brazil are banned in the EU and Switzerland.
150 types of poison are permitted in Brazilian soy cultivation, 35 of which are banned in the EU. Nevertheless, in 2018 Brazil already exported around 3 million tonnes of soy to European farmers. 121 pesticides were permitted in coffee growing, 30 of which were banned in the EU. Yet Brazil exports almost a million tons of coffee beans to Europe.
Brazil is the world’s largest producer of oranges and orange juice. Of the 116 pesticides allowed in the sector, 33 are banned in the EU. Nevertheless, in 2016 Brazil already exported around 1.5 million tonnes of fruit and juice to Europe.