Costa Rica With Increased Use of Pesticides In The WorldFrom: www.insidecostarica.com
A group of environmentalists have deployed actions against the use of pesticides in Costa Rica, with publicity events in the local agricultural (famers) markets in Zapote and Hatillo.
According to studies by the Regional de Estudios en Sustancias Tóxicas (IRET) – Institute for Studies on Toxic Substances, shows that the use of agrochemicals has increased, without increasing the agricultural areas. In other words, more chemicals in one meal, said Fabrián Pacheco and Gabriela Cob, spokespersons for the environmentalists.
The two indicated that the amount of imported pesticides has increased by 340% in the last 30 years. In total, the country imported over 184.817 tons of pesticides from 1977 to 2006. All this went to the fields where our food is grown, they said.
They said, therefore they have developed the campaign “PAREN DE FUMIGAR” (STOP SPRAYING), which provides information for both producers and consumers to educate, raise awareness and ultimately reduce the levels of pesticides in our food.
Sunday’s action was accompanied by posters, percussion and even elements of impact as a colorful model of a sprayer airplane.
This is one of several activities to disseminate this campaign and we´ll be visiting various agricultural fairs in the country.
Every Saturday and Sunday agricultural fairs are held in all the communities across Costa Rica, as producers bring their crops directly to the public. In San José, a permanent agricultural market is held every day in the wee hours of the morning for local vendors to buy directly from the producers.
Many consumers prefer the agricultural fairs to the supermarkets when buying their fruits and vegetables, one for the lower price and two for the freshness of the products.
According to the Estado de la Nación (The State of the Nation) report in 2009, Costa Rica imported over 300 tons of methyl bromide formulations – a substance regulated by the Montreal Protocol which contributes to the destruction of the ozone layer of the Earth. Also imported were two highly toxic substances regulated by the Rotterdam Convention.
The crop with greater use of pesticides is the melon, followed by ornamental plants, tomatoes, potatoes, pineapple and sugar cane.
The pineapple still tops the list of environmental complaints in the country. In response, the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganaderia (MAG) published a manual of good practices obligatory for pineapple producers.
What can we do as consumers?
– Although washing does not eliminate 100% of the poison from the food, it is a good practice.
– Demand organic foods or foods with low levels of pesticide use.
– Attend fairs and farm markets with non-poisonous products (like the ones in Aranjuez, San Cayetano and Escazú, for example).
– Start a home garden. Small scale organic farming has proved very efficient.
– Do not be so demanding on the appearance of products. The “perfect” vegetable is often the most fumigated.
– Demand that the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health ban red label pesticides and the other toxic ones such as: paraquat, endosulfan, methomyl, terbufos, methamidophos, phorate, malathion, carbofuran, ethoprophos, aldicarb, chlorpyrifos and methyl bromide.
According to the World Resources Institute (WRI) the world champions of pesticide use are:
1. Costa Rica
Word of the Day
Origin: Middle English iwar, from Old English gewær, from ge- (associative prefix) + wær wary — more at co-, wary
First Known Use: before 12th century
1 archaic : watchful, wary
2: having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge
— aware·ness noun
Agrochemical: n. an agricultural chemical (as an herbicide or an insecticide)
Deploy: v. to organize and send out (people or things) to be used for a particular purpose
Environmentalist: n. one concerned about environmental quality especially of the human environment with respect to the control of pollution
Pesticide: n. a chemical that is used to kill animals or insects that damage plants or crops
Prefer: v. to like better or best
Wee: adj. very early
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