Debate in Brazil on pesticide-reclassification plan


Agrochemical spraying in the western Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. (Photo by Leonardo Melgarejo)

New pesticide regulations are sparking disagreement in Brazil, with the government asserting they’ll make it clearer which agrochemicals are most acutely toxic and environmentalists saying the rules will downplay risks facing those who handle pesticides. The rules, issued on July 23rd by Anvisa, the Health Ministry’s regulatory arm, come as hundreds of new pesticides are being approved for use in Brazil, one of the world’s largest food producers and agrochemical users. The regulations are consistent with a pledge by President Jair Bolsonaro, who took office in January, to ease red tape, especially for agribusiness, though work on them was begun by a previous administration. Under the new regimen, pesticide makers must change product labeling regarding toxicity starting in July of next year. In doing so, they must follow a classification scheme that reserves the strongest warnings for acutely toxic pesticides that, if mishandled, can cause death. That approach contrasts with... [Log in to read more]

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