Girl Planting seeds

In agricultural giant Brazil, a new and growing hazard: The illegal trade in pesticides

Over the past two decades, the trafficking of a product as seemingly banal as pesticides has quietly grown into one of the world’s most lucrative and least understood criminal enterprises. Adulterated in labs and garages, hustled like narcotics, co-opted by gangs and mafias, counterfeit and contraband pesticides are flooding developed and developing countries alike, with environmental and social consequences that are “far from trivial,” the U.N. Environment Program reported last year. Each year, pesticides poison 3 million people and kill more than 200,000, the World Health Organization estimates, the great majority of them in the developing world. Their excessive use, researchers say, can poison soil, contaminate water sources and devastate ecosystems. All these harms are exacerbated by the illegal, unregulated trade.  Read more....

 

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