The re-evaluation of the herbicide paraquat by Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) might be suspended for two years.
The possibility was hinted at this week at the monthly meeting of the Thematic Chamber of Agricultural Inputs of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, held in Brasilia (Federal District). The herbicide has entered in the procedure of re-evaluation nine years ago.
According to the Executive Director of the Brazilian Association of Cotton Growers (Abrapa), Márcio Portocarrero, the trend is that this deadline could be extended: “The information that we have, which is not official, is that the re-evaluation of paraquat in Brazil is almost concluded, lacking just the details. As the United States and other countries are ending this re-evaluation, and others, such as Australia, has concluded that this product should not be banned, the trend that we listened is an extension for two years to re-evaluate this matter in Brazil.”
For Fabrício Rosa, executive director of Association of Soybean Growers of Brazil, it seems that the country would also not ban the product. “Australia and the United States have not taken out the product. Why should Brazil ban? Aren’t we better than them and understand more on the subject than the agencies of Australia and the United States? So, I think that in the end this technical vision has prevailed and the regulatory effect it would have over the sector. We heard some information, but I believe it will not be suspended for two years.”
The Federal Government is expected to send Congress in the coming weeks a decree altering the current law. The idea is to create a criteria for risk analysis to simplify the procedure and study the one that has been developed by the Thematic Chamber of Inputs and which intends to support the text. The research shows that Brazil is the country with highest cost of agrochemicals in the world and, at the same time, the lower offer of new molecules in the market.
According to the executive-director of Cotton Growers Association, who led the research, the measure can reduce the time of release of new products from 10 to less than 10 years. “It comes from the principle that the chemistry inserted within an agrochemical can generate a problem for human health, for animals, for consumers in general and for environment.
Coming from the risk of the product and not from dangerousness, the procedure is simpler and now we can have more time and give an extra life to the products that are already in place and are dangerous, but there is a way of establishing the risks in which its use and criteria should be adopted,” said Portocarrero.