Brazil's Pesticide Problem

Brazil's agricultural sector is booming--and so is the country's use of pesticides, many of which have been banned by other countries as human health risks.

A Reuters investigation into Brazil's use of agricultural chemicals found an atmosphere of lax enforcement of pesticide rules, chemical industry influences and tight regulatory budgets. According to the report, cases of human pesticide poisoning more than doubled to 4,537 between 2007 and 2013, and deaths linked to pesticide poisoning jumped from 132 to 206.

"This is a giant laboratory for the worst of industrial-scale agriculture," says Raquel Rigotto, a physician and sociologist at the Federal University of Ceara in Fortaleza. 

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