UN experts are claiming that the use for pesticides on our crops in order to feed the global population is not necessary.
It is strongly believed world wide that it is necessary to use pesticide on land in order to kill kill weeds (herbicides), insects (insecticides), fungus (fungicides) and rodents (rodenticides).
However, according to UN food and pollution experts, the use of pesticide on land can have a catastrophic impact on the eco system.
A report which is being presented to the UN human rights council later today, is intensely critical of the global corporations that manufacture pesticides.
The report accuses the manufactuers of the “systematic denial of harms”, “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and heavy lobbying of governments which has “obstructed reforms and paralysed global pesticide restrictions”.
The report insists that pesticides have “catastrophic impacts on the environment, human health and society as a whole”, which is also to blame for up to 200,000 deaths a year from acute poisoning.
The report also states that “It is time to create a global process to transition toward safer and healthier food and agricultural production.”
With the expected rise in the worlds population, pesticide manufacturers maintain that the use of pesticide is required in protecting crops and ensuring sufficient food supplies meet the demand.
The worlds population – which is currently at 7 billion – is expected to rise by a further 2 billion by 2050.
However, Hilal Elver, who is the UN’s special rapporteur believes that “it is a myth” to say that pesicide is required to supply enough food for the worlds population.
“Using more pesticides is nothing to do with getting rid of hunger. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), we are able to feed 9 billion people today. Production is definitely increasing, but the problem is poverty, inequality and distribution.”
“The corporations are not dealing with world hunger, they are dealing with more agricultural activity on large scales,” Elver continued.
The UN report also stated, “While scientific research confirms the adverse effects of pesticides, proving a definitive link between exposure and human diseases or conditions or harm to the ecosystem presents a considerable challenge.”
“This challenge has been exacerbated by a systematic denial, fuelled by the pesticide and agro-industry, of the magnitude of the damage inflicted by these chemicals, and aggressive, unethical marketing tactics.”
Elver who visited the Philippines, Paraguay, Morocco and Poland in order to produce the report, said: “The power of the corporations over governments and over the scientific community is extremely important.”
“If you want to deal with pesticides, you have to deal with the companies – that is why these harsh words. They will say, of course, it is not true, but also out there is the testimony of the people.”
The report also stated that the use of pesicide on crops have been proven to have direct links to illnesses such as Cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
“Chronic exposure to pesticides has been linked to Cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, hormone disruption, developmental disorders and sterility.”
It also affiliated the use of pesticide with the death of children revealing 23 deaths in India in 2013 and 39 in China in 2014.
Many farmers are of a split opinion when it comes to the use of pesticides on their crops and farmland as a whole.
There is also a lot of uncertainty surrounding glyphosate – the main chemical in most common weed killers such as Round Up.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) believes it is “probably” carcinogenic. The practice is widely used with GM crops who have been bred to resist the chemical while the weeds die.
GM crops are not commonly grown in Europe as there are restrictions on them, however many GM crops are imported as animal feed.
Soya, maize and corn are crops that are sprayed with glyphosate and they all make their way into our food chain one way or another through the consumption of foods such as eggs, meat and other dairy products.
The latest report by the UN food and pollution experts yet again brings awareness to the use of pesticides on our crops and the potential risks associated with them.