Building an International Pesticide Standard Alliance

  March 23, 2023

On the sidelines of the United Nations Water Conference in New York, a cooperation agreement was signed this Thursday, March 23, between six parties representing five continents – Friends of the Earth Australia, Pesticides Action Network Asia Pacific, International Center on water and transdisciplinary (CIRAT), Kosmoz Africa, Work Public Ministry of Brazil, and our association Justice Pesticides – with the aim of forming an international alliance to determine standards for pesticides (IPSA).

This alliance is emerging in response to the fact that pesticide use and production has been steadily increasing worldwide. The global pesticide market was worth approximately $60 billion in 2020, with one-third of this market controlled by companies based in the European Union. Yet, the current regulatory framework maintains a profound global North-South asymmetry, which, well beyond the economic aspects, concerns the inequality of living beings’ exposure to highly toxic chemicals. This neo-colonial logic does not allow the respect of the right to life and to a healthy environment, as well as the right of children and future generations.

The priority of our cooperation is therefore to establish international rules prohibiting the marketing and use in the countries of the South of active substances that have already been withdrawn from the European or North American market because of their dangerousness. We also intend to define common limits for pesticide residues in food and drinking water, to work on a plan to reduce and eliminate agrochemicals, and to ban aerial pesticide spraying throughout the world.

Clearly, our common desire is for a model based on local production and sustainable practices, aimed at food security and sovereignty for all countries.