Presentation on theme: "Corporations & Pesticides By Barbara Dinham. Companies and Their Markets Due to tighter regulations, many agrochemical companies have merged leaving only."— Presentation transcript:
Companies and Their Markets Due to tighter regulations, many agrochemical companies have merged leaving only six: Syngenta, Bayer, Monsanto, BASF, Dow and DuPont. Many of these corporations now have developed GM (Genetically Modified) seeds, in order to have greater profits from the agricultural sphere. In the early 2000’s sales from the seeds rapidly increased, but with a decline in the agrochemicals. Now, the companies are promoting usage of both the seeds and the chemicals.
Companies & Their Markets A number of developing countries are producers and exporters of pesticides. India is the world’s largest organophosphate producer. India and China are the largest producers of generic products, closely followed by Argentina.
Corporate Research Budgets and Spheres of Influence A driving force behind consolidation in the industry is the cost of research and development, which typically amounts to around 10 per cent of a company's sales. The six research-based agrochemical companies between them operated budgets of some U5$3.2 billion to take products from identification to market in 2001-2002. Advertising plays a key role in persuading farmers to buy products.
Growing Markets In Developing Countries With declining prospects for growth of pesticide sales in rich markets, developing country markets are increasingly a target, particularly those in the newly industrializing countries in Asia and Latin America. The growing need to protect human health and the environment led to the adoption of the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides. Pesticide laws and regulation has been improved because of this code, however the human and financial resources to implement it are lacking. Companies are required to register each formulation of active ingredients of the agrochemicals in industrialized nations, however it isn’t the same in developing nations.
Growing Markets In Developing Countries. The Asian region has been a particular target for agrochemical sales, and the large rice and cotton markets are significant users of pesticides. Yet much of this pesticide market growth may be unnecessary and could be curtailed with better access to information and training for farmers. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRl) has ascribed the rapid increase in pesticide, mainly insecticide, use on rice in the Philippines over the last 30 years to aggressive marketing by pesticide producers, coupled with the increasing use of high yielding varieties
The FAO Code of Conduct and Company Product Stewardship The FAO Code of Conduct sets standards and guidelines for pesticide use in developing countries, calling on governments, the agrochemical industry, food industries, and public interest groups to assist in its implementation. The FAO Code of Conduct is voluntary but influential. To be effective, its guidelines need to be incorporated into national regulations, and resources need to be allocated for implementation. To implement the Code, companies developed product stewardship guidelines, which state that products must be registered for use on each crop, lowest toxicity formulations should be encouraged, expert medical advice must be available on a 24 hour basis, and protective clothing must be available and convenient. Some companies have made pledges to address pesticide poisoning concerns in developing countries, but their actions have failed to reflect their pledges.
Companies and the People In Florida, an Appeal court in 2003 upheld a ruling in favour of a woman who had been exposed to Benlate (the fungicide benomyl) when seven weeks pregnant. Her son was born with microphthalmia, a rare birth defect involving severely underdeveloped eyes. The jury returned a verdict that held DuPont strictly liable, and that both DuPont and the farm spraying benomyl were negligent. The total award was US$4 million, with 99.5 per cent to be paid by DuPont (Castillo v. DuPont, 2003). Legal action is very difficult to undertake in developing countries. In Peru, a lawsuit was initiated against Bayer when 24 children died after exposure to methyl parathion: the case was one of misuse (mixed with milk drunk by the children), but the victims families held that such a toxic product should not have been sold where the prevailing socio-economic conditions prevented safe use. The case was not upheld
Training In The “Safe Use” of Pesticides One practical outcome of industry product stewardship has been the initiative entitled 'Safe Use' of pesticides. a response to criticisms and concerns raised by governments, public interest groups, trade unions and farming communities regarding the effects of pesticide use on human health and the environment, and aimed to address the problem that farmers had insufficient information and training in pesticide use. But studies of safe use programs suggest that behavioral changes were often temporary.
Some Corporate Strategies in Developing Nations In addition to sales and marketing strategies, agrochemical companies are able to use their strong position to expand the use of their products in developing countries, even though other agricultural strategies may provide a more appropriate pest management solution for poor farmers. Agrochemical companies often advocate private- public partnerships, and seek access to development aid funding to promote their products. Yields did increase, but did not necessarily improve farmer incomes because of the increased expenditure on pesticides.
Conclusion Agrochemical corporations have played a major role in shaping modem agricultural production in both industrialized and developing countries. Far more emphasis must be placed on a needs-based approach to pesticide application, and on safer and sustainable alternatives.