Agribusiness, one of the main drivers of the Brazilian economy, follows a productivist model of which a pillar is the use intensive use of pesticides. (File photo)
If the government managed to maintain the term agrotoxic, which the deputies had replaced by the words pesticide and phytosanitary product, considered more neutral, it did not prevent a major change: certain pesticides, in particular products with a carcinogenic or proven mutagenic or causing environmental damage, will no longer be automatically banned.
From now on, the ban will concern products presenting an unacceptable risk to humans or the environment, a criterion considered too vague by opponents of the text.
A risk analysis will be applied, but we do not know how it will take place or who will be in charge of it, Suely Araujo told AFP, former president of the Brazilian Environmental Protection Agency (IBAMA).
In addition, with the new law, pesticides exclusively intended for export can be produced in the country without the need for authorization.
The question of pesticides also has a dimension international. Their massive use by Brazilian producers is one of the arguments brandished by those in Europe who oppose a free trade agreement between the European Union and the South American bloc Mercosur, of which Brazil is the heavyweight.