Brazil controls more agrochemicals than Europe, says expert
Jun. 2, 2020
The monitoring of agrochemicals in Brazil is “broader than the European one”, says lawyer Letícia Rodrigues, a specialist in Public Health, Applied Toxicology in Health Surveillance and Doctor in Public Policies.
Rodrigues, who was once the Standardization and Evaluation manager at Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency), revealed that the number of active ingredients and plant foods analyzed in Brazil was also higher than in Europe.
“Between 2017 and 2018, PARA (Program for Analysis of Pesticide Residues in Food) collected and analyzed in Brazil 4,616 samples, an average of 2,313 per year. This is well above the average of 389 samples per country, assessed in the European Control Program, which, in the same period, analyzed 11,679 samples from the 28 Member States plus Iceland and Norway,” Rodrigues said.
According to the expert, “In Brazil, 14 food items were tested for the presence of 270 active ingredients, while the European Union tested 10 food items for the presence of 169 active ingredients. Even with a greater number of tested samples and almost 30% more active ingredients than in Europe, according to Anvisa, only 0.89%, or 41 of the total of 4,616 samples, presented a potential acute risk for consumers,” Rodrigues explained.
The lawyer also stated that in relation to exported food, in addition to the measures adopted for products consumed internally, there are other procedures aimed at serving the international market. Among them is the use of pesticides under the conditions authorized in the importing country and the certification of producers and production chains.
“Because of the climatic conditions, we are more susceptible to pests and diseases, which often do not exist in the importing country. Even so, this mechanism is adopted, for example, by the fruit, soy and citrus production chains that publish lists of products intended for export cultivation that, in order to be used, must have residue limits established in the main import markets such as the European Union countries and the United States. This combination of active ingredients registered on both continents, further reduces the availability of tools for phytosanitary control,” the lawyer emphasized.
Besides, the former manager of Anvisa explained, “many importers establish specific secondary standards. Notably, supermarket chains, food industries and others, which require the reduction of pesticide limits by 50% of those acceptable by regulatory bodies or absolute restriction of certain active ingredients. Many of these restrictions are not explainable based on technical-scientific risk assessments, but political risk management or image decisions.”
More from AgroNews
Subscribe to daily email alerts of AgroNews.