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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561

Abstract

VEIGA, Marcelo Motta. Pesticides: economic efficiency and social and environmental injustice. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2007, vol.12, n.1, pp. 145-152. ISSN 1678-4561.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232007000100017.

This study analyzed the inverse relationship between economic efficiency and social and environmental justice in the use of pesticides. The use of pesticides tends to improve economic efficiency by increasing agricultural productivity, however, it can also increase social and environmental injustice. This inverse relationship was inferred since the economic efficiency gained with the use of pesticides is [usually] associated with some kind of social and environmental injustice. This study also analyzed the impact of regulatory measures to control the use and handling of pesticides. Strict pesticide regulations could jeopardize agricultural competitiveness, especially in some small rural communities; therefore, the cost-benefit results of pesticides regulations could be negative and detrimental comparing to potential pesticide effects on human health and the environment. This study also concluded that some regulatory control is needed; however, it should be well designed and managed.

Keywords : Environmental injustice; Economic efficiency; Pesticide.

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