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A Toxics-Free Future


Tax exemptions $2.2 billion per year on pesticides in Brazil

A study carried out by ABRASCO, the Brazilian Association of Collective Health, executed by researchers from the Oswaldo Cruz foundation and the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, finds that the Brzailian government provides companies that manufacture and sell pesticides tax exemptions and reductions adding up to nearly R$10 billion (US$ 2.2 billion) every year, in addition to other, less tangible protections. This lost revenue amounts to nearly four times the Ministry of the Environment’s total budget in 2019 (R$2.7 billion, or US$ 600 milllion) and more than double what the nation’s national health system [SUS] spent to treat cancer patients in 2017 (R$4.7 billion, or US$ 1 billion), according to journalists and Repórter Brasil and Agência Pública writing about the study.

“Our study clearly showed that it’s time for society to begin to reflect on subsidies for pesticides. First, because we are in the middle of a fiscal crisis in which many sectors are re-evaluating subsidies. But mostly because of the high amount the State is unable to levy,” affirms study coauthor, Wagner Soares, economist and graduate level professor in the Sustainable Development Practices program at UFRRJ.