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Assessment & Impacts » Ecological

Title: GM Crops Drive Increased Pesticide Use in Brazil
Publication date: January 19, 2018
Posting date: January 19, 2018

THIRD WORLD NETWORK BIOSAFETY INFORMATION SERVICE

 

Dear Friends and Colleagues

GM Crops Drive Increased Pesticide Use in Brazil

In Brazil, genetically modified (GM) crops were initially introduced illegally at the end of the 1990s and officially authorized in 2003. Six types of GM crops are authorized, but only three are effectively in use, namely, soybean, corn and cotton that are herbicide-resistant, insect-resistant or both.

A new study has identified and characterized changes in the patterns of use of pesticides and herbicides in Brazil from 2000 to 2012. The emphasis was on soybeans, the main commodity produced in the country, of which 90% of the crops are GM. In 2014, when pesticide sales in Brazil were the highest at US$12.2 billion, the cultivated area of GM crops reached 42.2 million hectares, which represented an increase of 1306.67% over the 3 million hectares registered in 2003.

The study found that contrary to the initial expectations of decreasing pesticide use following the adoption of GM crops, overall pesticide use in Brazil increased 1.6-fold between the years 2000 and 2012. During the same period, pesticide use for soybean increased 3-fold. However, this increase did not result in an increase in average productivity. The results obtained in this study agree with similar studies in the US, Argentina, and other parts of the world which strongly suggest that the adoption of GM crops increases pesticide use, specifically herbicides sprayed on soybean, with possible increases in environmental and human exposure and associated negative impacts.

With best wishes,

Third World Network
131 Jalan Macalister
10400 Penang
Malaysia
Email: twn@twnetwork.org
Websites: http://www.twn.my/and http://www.biosafety-info.net/
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____________________________________________________________________________

USE OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS AND PESTICIDES IN BRAZIL: GROWING HAZARDS

Almeida, V. E. S. D., Friedrich, K., Tygel, A. F., Melgarejo, L., & Carneiro, F. F.
Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, 22(10), 3333-3339.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1413-812320172210.17112017 

6 Jan 2018

http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1413-81232017021003333&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=en

Abstract

Genetically modified (GM) crops were officially authorized in Brazil in 2003. In this documentary study, we aimed to identify possible changes in the patterns of pesticide use after the adoption of this technology over a span of 13 years (2000 to 2012). The following variables were analyzed: Pesticide use (kg), Pesticide use per capita (kg/inhab), Pesticide and herbicide use per area (kg/ha) and productivity (kg/ha). Contrary to the initial expectations of decreasing pesticide use following the adoption of GM crops, overall pesticide use in Brazil increased 1.6-fold between the years 2000 and 2012. During the same period, pesticide use for soybean increased 3-fold. This study shows that the adoption of GM crops in Brazil has led to an increase in pesticide use with possible increases in environmental and human exposure and associated negative impacts.


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