Bill (PL) 1459/2022, known as Poison PL, was approved in this Tuesday’s session (28) by the Senate. The text, which makes the use of pesticides more flexible, was processed urgently and is subject to sanction or veto by President Lula (PT).
A priority for the ruralist bench in the Legislature, the Veneno PL passed through the Senate in a symbolic vote, with just one vote against, from Senator Zenaide Maia (PSD-RN), deputy leader of the government in the National Congress, who did not speak in the plenary.
The project received support from the ruralist group and was vehemently denounced by researchers and activists as a risk to public health, as it allows the registration of pesticides that can cause cancer.
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The urgency regime was approved last week by the Senate’s Environment Committee (CMA) at the request of Senator Tereza Cristina (PP-MS), from the ruralist bench, the sector of Congress that drives the processing of the PL.
The CMA approved the report by senator Fabiano Contarato (PT-ES), which gave a favorable opinion on the processing of the matter, but eliminated the section that replaced the term “pesticides” with milder ones, such as agricultural pesticides and herbicides.
“We recognize Senator Fabiano Contarato’s efforts to address some problems, but many critical points remain in the text of the Poison Package”, published the Campaign Against Pesticides and for Life, regarding the report signed by the PT senator.
Cancer on the plate
According to Fiocruz, the Poison Bill brings a concept of health risk that allows the registration of pesticides that cause cancer. Fiocruz says that there is no acceptable level for the consumption of substances that can cause the disease.
“According to the scientific literature on the subject, there is no dose-response relationship for carcinogenic products. Small doses can cause irreversible damage to people’s health”, warned Fiocruz.
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“A very serious problem is the possibility of registering pesticides that are currently prohibited from being registered and which can cause cancer, in addition to genetic mutations that can cause reproductive problems and hormonal dysregulation”, reinforces Alan Tygel, member of the Permanent Campaign Against Pesticides and For the life.
Rubens Onofre Nodari, agronomist, plant geneticist and professor at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), classified the approval of a “huge setback” in the Senate as “inadmissible”, when commenting on the PL’s processing at the CMA.
PL weakens state control over pesticides
According to experts, another dangerous proposal contained in the PL concentrates all authority over pesticides in the Ministry of Agriculture, which is usually controlled by ruralists. The change contradicts the tripartite division applied since 1989, involving the Ministries of Environment and Health.
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Several entities within these ministries, such as Anvisa and Ibama, which were weakened due to successive budget cuts in recent years, would be left outside the control of harmful substances used in agriculture.
PL 1459/2022 is authored by senator Blairo Maggi (PP-MT), known as the “soy king”, and has the support of the ruralist bench. On the other hand, socio-environmental and health institutions, as well as experts and researchers, warn of serious risks to the population’s health.
Editing: Vivian Virissimo