FILE - In this March 5, 2009 file photo, workers on tractors harvest soybeans in Campo Novo do Parecis, in Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Human Rights Watch released a report on Friday, July 20, 2018 saying Brazil is one of the largest consumers of pesticides in the world and that the nation isn’t doing enough to protect people from the hazardous products. (AP Photo/Maurilio Cheli, File)

Human Rights Watch urges Brazil to regulate pesticides more

Brazil is one of the largest consumers of pesticides

July 20, 2018 - 4:01 am
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SAO PAULO (AP) — Human Rights Watch is urging the Brazilian government to establish buffer zones nationwide when pesticides are sprayed and reduce the use of highly toxic products.

The rights group says in a report Friday that Brazil is one of the largest consumers of pesticides in the world and isn't doing enough to protect people from the hazardous products.

Health Ministry data show that around 4,000 pesticide poisoning cases were reported last year.

Human Rights Watch is pushing Brazil to enact national rules to keep ground-spraying of pesticides away from homes and schools. A rule exists for aerial-spraying, but the group says it is not consistently followed.

An official from Brazil's Agriculture Ministry said the body wants to increase the agronomists' role in regulating and monitoring how pesticides can be safely used.

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