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    HomeBusinessAbout 430 civil society groups urge FAO to cut ties with pesticide...

    About 430 civil society groups urge FAO to cut ties with pesticide industry

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    Agri Business

    In a letter, the groups from 69 nations ask the Council to decide in the upcoming meeting on their demand

    About 430 civil society and indigenous peoples’ groups from 69 countries have appealed to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) to end its ties with the pesticide industry.

    Ahead of the FAO Council’s 170th session, which is scheduled to meet on June 13, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) submitted to members of the Council a letter co-sponsored by 10 other global networks, and on behalf of the 430 organisations.

    In a letter to the FAO, the network asked the Council to decide in the upcoming meeting on their demand.

    “This demand builds on the ongoing concerns expressed by civil society and indigenous peoples’ organisations, and on recommendations made by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food during the Human Rights Council’s 49th session,” a statement said here on Friday.

    Human rights concerns

    They referred to the recommendation that called for a review of the agreement with CropLife International with an eye to human rights concerns and direct the Director-General of FAO to rescind the agreement. They alleged that the pesticide industry has “interfered in national policy and exerted enormous pressure on governments that take measures to protect people and the environment from pesticide harms”.

    In October 2020, the FAO signed a Letter of Intent with CropLife to cooperate in a broad range of areas, as part of the agency’s Private Sector Engagement Strategy. “FAO deepening its collaboration with CropLife International directly counters any efforts toward progressively banning highly hazardous pesticides, as recommended for consideration by the FAO Council as early as 2006,” the letter stated.

    ‘Public resources invested’

    “Enormous amounts of public resources have been invested in FAO to bring it to the current position. It is part of a common pool resource, albeit a public institution. It cannot become captive of private interests and agenda,” said Narasimha Reddy Donthi, Senior Adviser, Pesticide Action Network India.

    “Transparency, accountability and sustainability have been inbuilt into public institutions for many years. We need to maintain that,” he said.

    Published on June 10, 2022

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