[This is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared on the National Health Federation’s blog on 23 May 2017. Scott Tips is the President and General Counsel of the National Health Federation.]
They have been running amok for years, unchallenged. The Codex Alimentarius Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) is their playground and they know it. Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Dow, Bayer, and other agrochemical companies – cozily snuggled together at Codex as the disarmingly named, front group CropLife – sent no fewer than 39 representatives to the 49th session of the CCPR meeting held in Beijing, China from April 24-29, 2017, to coerce, charm and bedazzle government regulators. And many of those regulators, especially the Australian and New Zealand ones, have long been seduced into believing that pesticides can be safely applied in near endless amounts and varieties. Or, they simply do not care about the ill-health effects of it all.
That is why over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used in the United States each and every year, while approximately 5.6 billion pounds are used worldwide. In many developing countries, programs to control pesticide exposures are limited or non-existent. The agrochemical companies tell us these compounds are safe and are ensuring adequate food production to feed the World, but the facts tell us another story.
On January 24, 2017, the United Nations (UN) published a report in which it stated that although pesticide use has correlated with a rise in food production, it has had catastrophic impacts on human health and the environment. The report went on to say that “[e]qually, increased food production has not succeeded in eliminating hunger worldwide. Reliance on hazardous pesticides is a short-term solution that undermines the rights to adequate food and health for present and future generations.” In fact, the UN blames pesticides for poisoning 200,000 people each year.