One third of the food consumed in Europe contains residues of two or more pesticides, according to the annual report published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). For certain foods the situation is even worse, since over 65% of the popular summer fruits tested (currants, strawberries and grapes) were found to contain pesticide “cocktails”.
As of 2010, 65% of Zambia's population was engaged in agriculture. 96% of this farming population is represented by small scale farmers and 4% by commercial farmers. Agriculture has been identified as the number one key driver of the economy. Unfortunately, though highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs) are used within the agriculture sector, there is currently no official data on the volume of HHPs used. This report explores this point and others in a quest to get an overall picture of the use of HHPs and alternatives in Zambia.
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.
For decades plastic producers have been manufacturing a lie about the recyclability of plastics to justify a toxic and unsustainable industry. The industry manipulation is revealed in an important documentary, Plastic Wars, a Frontline investigation from PBS and NPR. IPEN leader Yuyun Ismawati is featured in the exposé guiding the film crew through communities where a tsunami of plastic waste has been dumped in Indonesia. The images of plastic waste inundating streets and looming over people’s homes is the tip of the iceberg. International shipments of plastic waste from countries in the global north, including the US, EU, Australia and others, shipped and dumped in in the global south, are poisoning food sources and creating dangerous public health hazard. The recent report Plastic Waste Poison’s Indonesia’s Food Chain demonstrates how toxic plastics inundate food sources and imperil human health and the environment.
This report gives an overview of the current situation of highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs) in Mozambique and describes the process, methodology and recommendations to develop a national strategy plan on HHPs. It was based on institutional and stakeholder’s engagement; consultation with community-based farmers and agrochemical suppliers; reports; workshops; data collection and field work survey.
This report relates to Sustainable Development Goals 2, 3, 6, 8, 12, 13, 14 and 15.