Illegal Pesticide Trade Growing Overseas

A Washington Post report says the trafficking of illegal pesticides has grown significantly in overseas countries like Brazil. While the product doesn’t sound extravagant, it’s quickly growing into one of the more lucrative criminal enterprises in the world. The World Health Organization says these illegal pesticides will hurt countries in the developing world. Excessive use of these products can and will poison soils, contaminate water supplies, and devastate ecosystems. World population growth may be one of the factors behind the trade. Javier Fernandez, a senior official with CropLife, says, “it’s unknown, and it’s very common. The increasing demand for food is accelerating the need for pesticides, so the illegal trade is getting bigger and more violent.” Multinational corporations that sell Brazilian food into the United States say their products are safe, despite the presence of illegal pesticides in the country. For example, Bunge is a U.S. producer that sources crop from Brazil and says its contract with farmers includes clauses that “require the responsible use of pesticides.” It also conducts chemical analysis on its products to ensure their safety. Similar companies provide training for their Brazilian producers and monitor the products entering the U.S. market.