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Find Out What's in the Bill that Modifies Pesticide Regulations in Brazil

06/26/2018 - 11h56

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ANGELA BOLDRINI
BRASÍLIA

A committee in Brazil's Chamber of Deputies released a favorable report on Monday (the 25th) concerning what some are referring to as the "poison bill". Before getting signed into law, the bill still has to be put to a vote in the lower house and be sent back to the Senate.

Foto: Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress
The controversial bill, dubbed the 'poison package', is set to go to Brazilian Congress
The controversial bill, dubbed the 'poison package', is set to go to Brazilian Congress

What's in the bill?

The bill aims to modify regulations concerning pesticides in Brazil. Currently, such regulations are overseen by the ministries of Agriculture, Health and of the Environment. The proposal would put oversight strictly in the hands of the Ministry of Agriculture.

The testing period that pesticides are subjected to can take up to five years. The bill would reduce that period to two years, after which products could qualify for provisional registrations as long as federal agencies haven't reached an official opinion.

It would also rebrand such products, typically referred to as "agrochemicals", as "pesticides".

What do advocates of the bill have to say?

Members of the "ruralist caucus" and members of agricultural associations believe that the current legislation is outdated and keeps safer products from being applied to crops. They claim that the bill does not strip the National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) of its powers: it just speeds up the approval process.

What do opponents of the bill have to say?

Members belonging to movements such as Greenpeace claim that the proposal puts the population's health at risk, and that one of the amendments lifts the registration ban on highly dangerous pesticides.

Moving forward, under what circumstances can products still be banned?

The bill states that products containing teratogenic, carcinogenic or mutagenic properties should be analyzed, but only those that "pose an unacceptable risk to humans or the environment" should be banned. Anvisa has said that it does not have the resources to conduct such analyses.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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