PAN High

It is a product highly toxic. Since 1985, the PAN network deploys a campaign to disseminate the dangers of further use of the 12 most toxic pesticides, the so-called dirty dozen, which seeks the prohibition of such substances. In 2002 started a specific campaign for this pesticide, STOP Paraquat, which conditioned the ban or use restricted in 13 countries, 4 of whom were members of the EU. Despite all, the EU has given a boost to this pesticide in late 2003. As is the case with the majority of authorisations of GMOs, the decision was very controversial and counter argumentation of Sweden, with the support of Finland, Luxembourg and Denmark was not taken into account.

Authorization requires some precautions for protection of operators, costly economically and impossible to meet in case of high temperatures and an annual assessment of damage on workers and the terrestrial fauna in the areas where they apply. I.e., it recognizes the danger, but rather than avoid it, applying the precautionary principle, accepts the conditions of the company (Sygenta) and subordinates trabajador@s and environmental health protection to the economic interests of the agrochemical industry. In addition, the authorization in the EU has neutralized the positive effects of awareness-raising campaigns, slowing the process of ban of paraquat in countries of the South, despite the impossibility of adopting the levels of protection of the workers of the rich countries. It is very serious when it is said, that the EU is not applying the precautionary principle to protect people and the environment from the negative effects of pesticides. Its review program, again deferred, is a mask to continue to act for the benefit of the chemical industry.

All the most dangerous substances are not prohibited and whose damage have been tested. I do not know suspended those on which there are studies that indicate their dangerousness, although not reach scientific significance, until they demonstrate their harmlessness, as it should be done in the exercise of the precautionary principle. The prohibitions are sometimes drills because they still use in the form of essential uses. Since 1992 has been requested the inclusion of a hundred of new pesticides that come to relieve to the previous ones and, according to the European Environment Agency, are more toxic, although more specific and more effective (until new resistance of pests reduce their effectiveness) very significant opinion that EU, seconded by Governments, diminish the importance to contamination by pesticides that contain foodDespite making regular checks. Of every 100 vegetables that consumes European citizen, 60 are completely clean of pesticides, 36 have remains below the maximum tolerated dose and 4 are contaminated above of these doses. 40% Contain remains and Although they are mostly below the authorized limits, they begin to accumulate evidence that small doses for a long time can be more harmful than high doses at once. In turn, a balanced diet, with high consumption of fruits, vegetables and cereals, contain pesticide levels exceeding those recommended according to a study carried out in Barcelona through thousand samples collected in the shops share the Group’s valuable position when verbatim indicates, that pest control is not reducible to chemistry problem because it is agro-ecological. Pests and diseases are the result of unbalanced agrosystems. The use of large amounts of broad-spectrum pesticides just failing and creating new problems. The best way to control pests is to recover the balance of the agrosystem and the maintenance of biodiversity. * Source: Environment and society, year 9, no.