Pesticides Approved For Sale Reached Record High in 2018

Increase concerns experts; government says agency responsible for approvals has been more efficient

Natália Cancian
Brasília

Amidst pressure to change regulations in Brazil's agriculture regulations, the number of pesticides approved for sale has been increasing in the last few years.

In 2018 alone, there were 450 pesticide approvals, the highest rate in at least 13 years, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. For comparison's sake, in 2005 there were 91 approvals and 2015, 139.

The rise, undoubtedly boosted during the Temer administration, is calling the attention of experts, who see in president Bolsonaro another opportunity for even more pesticides to enter the Brazilian market. Many cabinet members already declared to favor demands from the agribusiness industry in detraction of environmental policy.

During the two first months of the year, there were 74 pesticide approvals, a little over one a day.

Anvisa, the Brazilian agency equivalent to the US Food and Drug Administration, said in a statement that a workflow reorganization enabled it to more efficient in the approval processes, but it still taking longer than 120 days to approve any product.

However, Ibama (the Brazilian environmental inspection agency) says that there is growing demand from chemical companies to approve more pesticide products for the Brazilian market. In one month, 31 new applications were sent to Anvisa.

The increase is also concerning environmental groups that demand more strict rules for pesticides in Brazil.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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