Key elements in regulatory frameworks to ban highly hazardous pesticides, phase out other pesticides, and facilitate the transition to agroecology
The aim of this paper is to provide an initial set of elements for regulatory processes to those groups or individuals advocating for the transformation of food systems in general, or specifically against agro-toxics and for pesticide-free food systems.
It was sponsored by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Geneva office with funds of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany.
This paper has also drawn inspiration from the study Transitioning Towards Pesticide-free Food Systems: People’s Struggles and Imagination. It was published in English and Spanish.
The Special Rapporteurs on toxic substances and food have stated that: “While efforts to ban and appropriately regulate the use of pesticides are a necessary step in the right direction, the most effective, long-term method to reduce exposure to these toxic chemicals is to move away from industrial agriculture.”
The aim of this paper is to provide an initial set of elements for regulatory processes to those groups or individuals advocating for the transformation of food systems in general, or specifically against agrotoxics and for pesticide-free food systems. For the purposes of this paper, when we use the word “pesticides”, we are referring to those pesticides with known harmful effects on human, environmental, and ecosystem health, but we are not including organic or biological pesticides that have no known harmful effects on human health, the environment, or ecosystem services, especially those used in agroecology.
This paper draws upon FIAN’s experience and work with organizations of people in rural areas, especially those of small-scale food producers and Indigenous Peoples, as 5well as FIAN’s experience in the area of corporate accountability regulations. The proposed elements are grounded in a progressive interpretation of international human rights law, including relevant reports by the UN Special Rapporteurs on toxic substances and on the right to food. This paper has also drawn inspiration from the study Transitioning Towards Pesticide-free Food Systems: People’s Struggles and Imagination, as well as the report Pesticides in Latin America: Violations Against the Right to Adequate Food and Nutrition.
This paper includes detailed recommendations for advocacy processes, based on an expanded analysis of the necessary law and policy changes at the local, national and international level. These recommended changes are founded in state obligations recognized in human rights standards. The suggested elements aim to achieve a pesticide-free planet, therefore some of them may be considered difficult to achieve in the current political atmosphere. Nonetheless, we believe that having a clear direction can help guide our advocacy work for regulatory processes and to support people’s struggles. This is a living document and it is our hope that it serves to foster discussion and critical reflection that lead to action.