Risks of indiscriminate use of pesticides in Brazil

Brazil is one of the largest consumers of pesticides in the world. With an edition dedicated to Brazil, the Pesticide Atlas, sheds light on this issue and alerts about the risks of the indiscriminate use of these substances in agriculture.

The Pesticide Atlas is a joint initiative of the Heinrich Böll Foundation and several environmental and social organizations. The publication covers various topics related to pesticides, such as their history, regulation, market, impacts, alternatives, and resistance movements.

Some of the facts and data presented in the Atlas are alarming, such as:

  • Brazil accounts for 20% of the global pesticide market, spending more than 10 billion dollars per year on these products.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the use of pesticides in Brazil increased by 190%, while the agricultural area grew by only 18%.
  • More than 2,000 cases of pesticide poisoning are reported every year in Brazil, but the actual number may be much higher due to underreporting and lack of diagnosis.
  • Pesticides contaminate water, soil, air, food, and biodiversity, affecting not only farmers and rural workers, but also urban consumers and future generations.
  • Pesticides are associated with various diseases and disorders, such as cancer, infertility, birth defects, hormonal imbalances, neurological problems, and mental health issues.
  • Pesticides are not essential for food production, as there are many agroecological alternatives that are more sustainable, healthy, and profitable.

The Pesticide Atlas is a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning more about this topic and joining the debate on the use and impact of pesticides in agriculture and human health. The publication is available for free online and can be accessed here.