Klaus Hart Brasilientexte

Aktuelle Berichte aus Brasilien – Politik, Kultur und Naturschutz

Brasiliens wichtigster Befreiungstheologe Frei Betto über Agrargifte. „Close to 20% of pesticides manufactured in the world are spread about our country. One billion litres a year: 5.2 litres for every Brazilian!“

 Frei Betto zu „Biosprit“ – Soja nach Deutschland und Folgen: http://www.hart-brasilientexte.de/2008/02/13/amazonia-an-ecocide-foreseen/


Frei Betto*

Brazil is the world champion when it comes to chemical fertilizers used in food farming. Close to 20% of pesticides manufactured in the world are spread about our country. One billion litres a year: 5.2 litres for every Brazilian!

Apart from the record numbers, the drama is increased because we authorise the use of the more dangerous substances which are already prohibited in most parts of the world and are dangerous for social, economic and environmental reasons.

Scientific research shows the impact of these substances in the lives of rural workers, consumers and other living beings, revealing how they produce disturbances such as cancer, neurological dysfunction, foetal malformation etc.

There is an increase in the incidence of cancer in children. According to oncologist Silvia Brandalise, director of the Boldrini Children’s Centre in Campinas (SP), pesticides alter the DNA and produce carcinogenesis.





Rio+20. “Agrobusiness ist Gift!” Immer höhere Agrargiftdosis in brasilianischen Lebensmitteln – Protest der Landlosenbewegung MST. (Brasilianisches Obst, Gemüse schmeckt nicht zufällig immer öder) **






The power of the transnationals which produce chemical pesticides (a dozen control 90% of what is produced in the world), permits them to guarantee the authorisation of these dangerous products in less developed countries in spite of being forbidden in their countries of origin.

Studies into the distribution of authorisations only analyse the effects of each pesticide separately. There are no studies attesting to the combination of these poisonous substances which mix over time in the environment as well as in our bodies.

It is intolerable to affirm that it is cheaper to produce foodstuffs based on the use of chemical pesticides. On the contrary, the social and environmental costs are incalculable. Only in health treatment there are estimates showing that for every Real spent on the acquisition of pesticides, the government spends R$1.28 for necessary medical care. We all pay for this without realizing it.

The monoculture model based on large properties and the use of agro chemicals does not resolve nor will it resolve the question of world hunger (872 million malnourished persons according to the FAO).

This system is maintained through the expansion of farming frontiers as it doesn’t recognise the importance of biodiversity for the balance between soil and climate and permits the areas used to deteriorate over time.  It expands as new areas are incorporated, increasing environmental destruction and rural exodus.

In a finite planet, destroyed by growing imbalance, fertile and healthy land is ever more precious for guaranteeing the survival of billions of human beings.

Unfortunately there is no middle road in that sector. This disgraceful model makes it impossible to guarantee quality, security or volume in the production of foodstuffs. It is impossible to foster the correct use of pesticides which are not viable in a tropical country like Brazil where wearing the necessary security clothing and equipment for applying these products in the heat can be torture for the workers.

A solution must be found for agro ecological transition, i.e. in gradual and growing change in the present system towards a new model based on organic planting maintaining the balance between the soil and bio diversity and re-distributing the land into smaller properties.

This helps in farming rotation and amalgamation, in the natural fight against pests and in regaining relations between human beings and nature, giving value to climate and to local species.

There are many successful experiences in our country and in the rest of the world which prove this new model is viable. There are even examples in agrarian reform settlements of how to promote quality of life, social justice and sustainable development.

In order to encourage this debate and demand concrete measures from the government the Permanent Campaign Against Toxic Pesticides and Pro Life was started in April 2011. Approximately 50 organisations participate in it, such as the Via Campesina (Rural Workers), the Brazilian Institute for consumers’ defence (IDEC), the Brazilian Association for Collective Health (Abrasco) and the Chemical Industry Workers’ Federation of the CUT (Workers’ Central Union) in the state of Sao Paulo (FETQUIM). Visit the website:

The campaign seeks to regain true sovereignty regarding foodstuffs so that Brazil may move from being a mere exporter of commodities (which provide huge profits for a minority and huge damage to the population), and become a land where the production of foodstuffs can be achieved with social dignity and in a healthy way.

The other option is to continue to delude ourselves with the false costs of foodstuffs, poisoning our soil, reducing bio diversity, promoting concentration of wealth, the socialization of damages and the creation of hospitals specialising in cancer treatment in places like Unaí (Minas Gerais), where cases of this serious disease have increased due to the toxic cultivation of beans, the staple diet of all Brazilians.

*Frei Betto is a writer and author, in partnership with Marcelo Barros, of “O amor fecunda o Universo – ecologia e espiritualidade” (Love impregnates the Universe – ecology and spirituality) (Agir).

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Freitag, 19. April 2013 um 20:30 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde unter der Kategorie Kultur, Naturschutz, Politik abgelegt. Du kannst die Kommentare zu diesen Eintrag durch den RSS-Feed verfolgen.

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