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Pesticides: Latent Danger

Pesticides: Latent Danger


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By Wilfredo Pérez Ruiz

During the "Earth Summit" (1992) the signing of the Rotterdan Convention was sponsored in order to regulate the trade in extremely toxic pesticides. Peru is pending ratification despite the fact that it is a subject narrowly circumscribed to agricultural activities and the health of the population.

During the "Earth Summit" (1992) the signing of the Rotterdan Convention was sponsored in order to regulate the trade in extremely toxic pesticides. Peru is pending ratification despite the fact that it is a subject narrowly circumscribed to agricultural activities and the health of the population.


It should be noted that, in addition to traditional methods, there are biologically active substances of plant, animal and mineral origin, used to eliminate pests and insects. A well-known example is the "muña" or "chaumpca", widely used to protect stored food. Studies carried out indicate the existence in Peru of approximately 100 species of plants with insecticidal powers, although their use is still incipient.

Currently, 548 chemical products are marketed in our country for pest control, mostly used on the coast, in the jungle and in the inter-Andean valleys. Of these 371 come from Northern nations. According to statistics from international organizations, 90% of the pesticides dumped in the world are produced in industrialized countries. While 80% of its commercialization is in the hands of 24 transnational companies, of which Bayer, Ciba Geigy, ICI, Monsanto and Shell control half of all its sales.


It is also important to remember that many of the pesticides we import are censored in the markets of developed nations due to their high negative effect on the environment and health. These statements are supported by reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) that have certified the sale to the country of 24 highly harmful pesticides.

To have a broad idea of ​​the effects produced by their employment, we must indicate that in the United States the damages caused are estimated at 800 million dollars. Calculating between 30 to 40 thousand deaths the number of human victims in the world.

The increasing planting of coca leaves for the production of CBP has coincided with the negligence of the Peruvian government authorities, who allow the commercialization of agrochemicals with proven negative effects. A clear example is the herbicide "Paraquat", used in cocaine production laboratories and whose sale is permitted.

On the other hand, the application of the so-called "dirty dozen" is not an alternative to control pests. The development of mechanisms of immunity to pesticides of synthetic origin is one of the consequences of their excessive use. Currently, there are more than 450 species of insects resistant to pesticides. In this sense, its elimination implies higher concentrations of the product and the use of more powerful and frequent elements.

The statistics on the consumption of agrochemicals show its increase from (mainly) 1960. This is accredited by the Pan American Center for Human Ecology and Health, which indicates us as one of the countries with the highest amount of chemical components per square kilometer (compared to Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia and Brazil). In addition, approximately 3 and a half million workers are directly or indirectly exposed to pesticides, generating high rates of poisoning, especially in areas with intense agricultural labor.


Consequently, it is imperative that the Peruvian Government promote the study of alternative means such as biological control. For this, it must convene researchers, universities and rural communities, in order to develop technical, institutional and legal proposals in this regard.

Likewise, it is necessary to design monitoring mechanisms to know the environmental externalities generated. Rethinking our legal system on this controversial issue, in accordance with international regulations, is a priority to face a problem of irreparable ecological, social and economic damage.

Review: Collaboration by Tania Fernández Pino for EcoPortal


Video: Kitchen Gardening. Perati Ruchulu. 30th January 2020. Full Episode. ETV Abhiruchi (June 2022).


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