What are questionable costs in business
Questionable business at the expense of health
Study reveals: Bayer and BASF sell pesticides in South Africa and Brazil that are not approved in the EU
23.04.2020 – 08:55
Rosa Luxemburg Foundation
The German corporations Bayer and BASF are jointly responsible for pesticide poisoning among farm workers in South Africa and indigenous groups in Brazil. This is the result of a study published by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, MISEREOR and INKOTA on the occasion of the Bayer Annual General Meeting. The organizations are calling on the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to exhaust its legal options and to ban the export of pesticide active ingredients that are not approved in the EU.
"It is a major failure with fatal consequences that the Ministry of Agriculture has not yet exploited the existing legal possibilities," criticizes Lena Luig from the development organization INKOTA. "The federal government must follow France's example and put a stop to the export of pesticide active ingredients that are not approved in the EU." According to the Plant Protection Products Act, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture has the option of prohibiting the export of active ingredients to third countries.
The study shows that Bayer and BASF are massively violating their human rights due diligence obligations by exporting highly toxic pesticides such as carbendazim, chlorfenapyr and saflufenacil.
Case studies from South Africa and Brazil show devastating effects.
The authors' research shows that Bayer sells at least seven active ingredients in South Africa and BASF sells at least four active ingredients that are not approved in the EU. In Brazil, the two agrochemical groups each sell at least 12 active ingredients that are not approved in the EU. Seven of the active ingredients marketed in both countries have been explicitly banned in the EU due to ecological and health risks.
"We found various BASF products on South African citrus farms that are not approved in the EU member states. On the same farms, poisoning during spraying means that workers have to be treated in hospitals," says Jan Urhahn, agricultural expert at Rosa Luxembourg Foundation. "Bayer and BASF know that the safe use of highly toxic pesticides is a myth in South Africa. For example, the necessary protective equipment is missing. With their business practices, they accept the endangerment of people approvingly."
"In Brazil, villages are swept through by spray from airplanes. People suffer acute poisoning and pesticides pollute the cultivated food and drinking water," reports Sarah Schneider, world nutrition expert at MISEREOR. In the case of an indigenous community, it has been confirmed that the residents were sprayed with a Bayer product. "It is irresponsible that Bayer markets dangerous pesticide active ingredients, some of which are not approved in the EU, and endangers the health of many people. The federal government must end the business with double standards and put human rights before corporate interests."
According to estimates by the ILO and WHO, between 20,000 and 40,000 people die in the workplace worldwide every year from pesticide poisoning, around three million people are treated for acute pesticide poisoning, and 25 million suffer less acute poisoning. The majority of deaths occur in countries in the global south.
The study "Dangerous pesticides from Bayer and BASF - a global business with double standards" can be downloaded here: www.rosalux.de/pestizide
The authors of the study are available for interviews:
Lena Luig, consultant for global agriculture and world food, INKOTA network, mobile: 01 577 15 48 06 3, email: [email protected]
Jan Urhahn, Program Manager Food Sovereignty, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Mobile: 0176 87 92 03 18, Whatsapp: +27 (0) 79 63 89 97 6, E-Mail: [email protected]
Sarah Schneider, Consultant for Agriculture and World Food, MISEREOR, phone: 0241 44 21 64, mobile: 0160 58 01 10 8, email: [email protected]
Original content from: Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, transmitted by news aktuell
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