By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The use of pesticides in Brazil grew by more than 162 percent from 2000 to 2012, according to the latest report by the Brazilian Association of Collective Health (ABRASCO), making the country the number one consumer of pesticides in the world. According to the entity, the Brazilian agriculture sector purchased more than 823,000 tons of pesticides in 2012.

Brazil has become largest consumer of pesticides in the world, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Brazil has become the largest consumer of pesticides in the world, photo courtesy of Agencia Brasil archives.

“Since 2009 Brazil has taken over as the largest global consumer of agro-chemicals,” Paulo Petersen, director of the Brazilian Agro-Ecology Association (ABA), told Agencia Brasil news agency. “The consumption would equal 5.5 kilos per person per year,” he added.

The ABRASCO report, titled “An Alert of the Impacts of Pesticides on Health”, was released last week in Rio de Janeiro. The report includes scientific studies including data from the National Cancer Institute that shows a direct link between the use of pesticides and health problems.

According to APaulo Petersen the increase in the use of agro-chemicals is related to the expansion of mono-cultures of crops and genetically modified crops (GM).

The ABA director says that when genetically modified seeds were launched those in favor of using these seeds and crops argued that their use would lead to lower usage of pesticides because these plants would be more resistant to disease and pests.

Petersen argues that what has been seen in reality is the opposite. “Not only are we using more [pesticides] but we are using more powerful, stronger pesticides. We have been forced to import pesticides which were not even allowed in Brazil to combat pests which attacked GM soybean and cotton plants,” he is quoted as saying.

The executive adds that 22 of the fifty main active ingredients used in pesticides in Brazil today have been banned in most other countries. “We are facing a situation of total lack of control [of pesticide use]. The state does not monitor as it should and the legislation for the use of pesticides is not being obeyed,” he concludes.


  1. I am convinced that many of the health problems “caused by Zika” are in fact the result of excessive use of pesticides. It’s no secret that since GMO soybeans were introduced to the countries listed in the article, the number of birth defects. Too bad none of the agencies named working on this will never admit that maybe it’s pesticides, and not Zika to blame.

  2. Is true. all the agrochemical industry created this serious food safety. and malformations in fetuses want to blame a virus that has nothing to do with the hysteria of microcephaly.
    as the saying goes …. the cure is worse than that disease

  3. Many researchers are relating pesticides to cáncer. Dr. Stephanie Seneff, MIT, has made extensive studies of Glyphosate, which is considered the cause of cáncer and autism in children. By 2030, she says, half the children will be born autistic.Many countries are prohibiting the use of Glyphosate and other pesticides. Cancer has become the second cause of death in countries using presticides. Germany has 500.000 new cáncer cases per year. Dr. Karl Lauterbach considers that in ten years one in two deaths will be caused by cáncer. 22 countries have already prohibited pesticide use. Russia is one of them. Brazil, instead, is going right into self-destruction through cáncer, autism and now, shrunken heads. What is happening with the health authorities of Brazil. Have they been coopted by same corrupt practices that we see in Petrobras or other institutions?

  4. Sadly our governments are failing to protect public health and the environment from the scientifically proven polluting and harmful effects of pesticides. The late Professor Carrasco of Argentina must never be forgotten for his research into the birth defects linked to the aerial spraying of pesticides such as Roundup on RR GM crops. The industries that want to survive at the expense of human health and well-being must surely see the writing on the wall.


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