Consumers must overcome the fear of science and technology applied in agriculture
A call to consumers to trust the controls, studies, legislation, science and the agricultural practices that make it possible to bring sufficient and quality food to the tables, was a repeated mention of the speakers at the International Forum - Innovation for the Sustainability of Agriculture, held in Brasilia on June 27
José Perdomo, Presidente of CropLife Latin America; Caio A. Carbonari professor of UNESP and Elizabeth Nascimento, toxicologist, speakers at the International Forum - Innovation for the Sustainability of Agriculture
Overcoming the resistance that exists around the technology used in agriculture and communicating to consumers the benefits that it brings to the food supply and to decreasing the environmental footprint of agriculture, were two of the main conclusions of the International Forum held by CropLife Latin America and the National Plant Protection Association (ANDEF).
The event generated a dialogue on the role of agrotechnologies in food security, the need for legislation that allows access to cutting-edge agricultural crop protectants and on the science behind the evaluation, monitoring and control systems for pesticides used in crops. Representatives from the academic, political, press and industry sectors offered their perspectives to 170 attendees and 5,400 people connected online.
Conference: Brazil, reporting correctly on the use and risks of agricultural crop protectants, Júlio Caio Carbonari, Professor at São Paulo State University, UNESP/Botucatu
- Brazil not only produces more crops per hectare, but also uses the area better; only 8% of its territory is allocated for crops. We have an agriculture that is a model of sustainability.
- Brazil makes an absolutely rational use of crop protection products.
- In 2013 and 2017 the use of crop protection products was reduced by 12.5%. It is not true that consumption increases year after year.
- According to the use of crop protectants per unit area, Brazil occupies the seventh position; per ton produced, it ranks ninth worldwide.
- The current pesticide legislation in Brazil is from 1989, it predates biotechnology, nanotechnology, digital agriculture and the scientific revolution that we have experienced in the last 30 years. It does not incorporate the risk assessment adopted by several countries. It is necessary to modernize it.
- In Brazil there are 32 active ingredients waiting to be approved by the authorities; these products are already in the United States, Canada, Japan, EU, Austria and Argentina markets.
Conference: Food Safety and the Use of Pesticides, Elizabeth Nascimiento, toxicologist, professor, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of São Paulo
- In the last 20 years we have seen a considerable increase in programs that allow evaluating food, which should increase the confidence of society. Academia, international agencies, industries and supermarkets have their ways to evaluate chemical residues.
- Substances with greater toxicity are widely studied by the academy, scientists, researchers and regulatory agencies, and there are indexes or parameters to establish the safety of a product.
- Risk assessment is done scientifically and risk management is adequate; our biggest problem is in risk communication. There is a difficulty for society to understand that today we have better food than 30 years ago; we have data that prove it.
Conference: The Role of Agrotechnologies in Food Security, José Perdomo, President, CropLife Latin America.
- The agrochemical industry annually invests $7.3 billion in research and development in new technologies. Thus providing a toolbox to the farmer so he can protect his crops efficiently and sustainably.
- All technological advances translate into higher productivity, higher effectiveness, lower toxicity and lower doses.
- Proper use of pesticides is a shared responsibility with government, industry, distributors, farmers, civil society and consumers.
- Since the time of Galileo 350 years ago, society has shown fear and resistance to scientific advances; to overcome these fears it is necessary to improve communications between the countryside and the city; urban audiences need to understand why more science, more technology and more innovation in agriculture are needed.