During four years, ecologists, organic farmers, beekeepers, researchers, and activists have waged a battle against the introduction – uncontrolled and massive – of agrochemicals to Costa Rica. They have denounced that businessmen, politicians, importers of poisons, and transnational corporations have tried to twist the Law to allow the lack of control for the entry of pesticides into the most fumigated country in the world.
“They intend to do so without prior toxicological analysis. This they have attempted through executive decrees, ministerial guidelines, deceptive campaigns and blackmail in the national press, each contested by ecological and social organizations in due time,” said Henry Picado Cerdas, member of the Biodiversity Coordination Network.
In his opinion, during the health crisis caused by COVID-19, these greedy powerful economic groups want to wide open the door to agropoison importation. By jumping over legal provisions, technical regulations, the recommendations of the Comptroller General of the Republic, the processes opened in the Constitutional Chamber, and of course, the risk assessment tools based on science and technology.
Picado highlighted that the Costa Rican Government, led by Carlos Alvarado, has issued a new executive decree and a ministerial directive. “The first is Executive Decree 42262-S, signed by Minister Daniel Salas and Ministerial Guideline No. 085 by MIDEPLAN and the MEIC, which gives poison importers the possibility using a sworn statement to evade the risk evaluation, and also orders MINAE to process these permits in less than 44 days.”
The complaints from the Biodiversity Coordination Network highlight that these businessmen and politicians allegedly seek to take advantage of the health, economic and social crisis in favor of a few representatives of well-known economic conglomerate associations at the expense of the nation`s human and environmental health.
The “Naturaleza de Derechos” (Rights of Nature) organization has published a compilation with more than 51 scientific articles and research that show how pesticides and fumigations seriously weaken human health and therefore make us more vulnerable to Viruses such as COVID-19.
The author, Eduardo Martini, points out in his studies that: “agrochemicals impact the human immune system, facilitating the entry of pathogens and saprophytic germs.”
It is worth mentioning that a new community aqueduct was found contaminated with Bromacil in Agua Zarcas, and also two million bees were poisoned by the Fipronil insecticide.
This past April: One hundred ecologists protested in front of the Costa Rican Supreme Court
In April, one hundred environmental activists asked the IV Chamber of the National Supreme Court to evaluate the viability for the use or not, of pesticides according to constitutional premises. In this regard, they demanded to declare -unconstitutional- Executive Decree 41481.
The protest was in support of the Costa Rican Organic Agriculture Movement (MAOCO), due to the deregulations that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is seeking through decree 39995, 40059, and 41481. Noting that this Ministry is part of the institutions that allow pesticides to enter the country without sanitary, environmental, or agricultural effective controls.
In the country, they assure that there is a backlog of approximately three thousand records of agro-poisons, most of which have not been fully evaluated by the Ministry of Health; almost all of which have not been evaluated either by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Environment.