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Brazil Parliament examines agchem use

The Brazilian Parliament has created a special sub-committee to investigate the use of pesticides and its consequences on human health. It met last month and took evidence from industry and MPs. They included a university toxicologist, saying no farm worker had been received by the university’s hospital for pesticide poisonings in the past four years, and industry representatives explaining the importance of pesticides in controlling crop pests, and claiming that they rank below cleaning products, medicines and venomous animals as a cause of poisonings. One representative told the committee that 94% of empty plastic packaging was recycled in Brazil, making it the “global reference” for such activity. Some MPs countered these points, including Amaury Teixeira of the governing Workers Party, who did not believe the data supplied by the industry’s recycling organisation, the inpEV. He claimed that people in the interior of the country were reusing containers to store milk and water.

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