As proof of an institutional initiative by the Agriculture and Livestock Confederation of Brazil (CNA), the Federal Justice assured the commercialization and the use of 180 agrochemicals in the national market, allowing the control of pests and diseases in 56 crops, including beans, rice, wheat and soybean. This is the third time that the Federal Judges have denied the petition of the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), keeping the sale of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides which, in most cases, do not have replacements in Brazil.
The Federal Tribunal of the 1st Regional Court denied the request by the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) for immediate withdrawal of eight active ingredients, including glyphosate, parathion-methyl, lactofen, phorate, carbofuran, abamectin, thiram and paraquat.
In the first demonstration, in response to requests from the Prosecutor of the Republic, Anselmo Enrique Cordeiro Alves, the Federal Court upheld the sale and use of one of the most widely used herbicides in Brazil: 2,4-D, which consists of a formula of 46 agrochemicals. Questioned later by the MPF, by means of a declaratory embargo, the Federal Court has rejected the suspension petition. The decision was issued in the middle of April.
In general, the federal judges have presented the same arguments to deny the requests of the Public Ministry. They point out that such molecules have been used in Brazilian crops for many years. Remember, though, that there are no conclusive studies on the risk of these products for human health. There are therefore, no reasons for the drastic decision to immediately suspend the sale.
Given the damage caused to the productive sector, estimated at R$400 billion ($199.5 million at the current rate) in 2014, due to the possible suspension of the sales of agrochemicals, the CNA sent an official letter to the authorities of the Federal Justice requesting dismissal of the petition made by the MPF. The Confederation argued that the suspension of the sales could strongly compromise national agricultural production, as there are no similar products on the domestic market.
The case ended up in court due to the delay of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) in re-evaluating the agrochemicals. In 2006, the Agency issued a decree announcing the reassessment of 2,4-D. Two years later, a new regulation included the other active ingredients in this reassessment process. The law provides a period of 120 days for Anvisa to disclose the result of this work, which so far has not occurred.