The green rural economy: challenges to research and to public health policies posed by agricultural modernization

In this paper, we ask ourselves who should, can and has the will to promote health in the rural zone today. The fields of science and public policy were chosen as our primary focus of dialogue conducted from the perspective of the right to health and a healthy environment. Seven lessons emerged: (1) in addition to the surveillance of isolated chemical risks, the relation between agrochemicals and health should be investigated in the context of conservative agricultural modernization; (2) it is mandatory and urgent to discover the health problems related to the use of agrochemicals; (3) the State has been successful in its support of agribusiness, but highly inefficient at enforcing policies to safeguard social rights; (4) sectors of society linked to rural organizations have played an important role in the public policies combating agrochemicals and protecting health; (5) studies must help deconstruct the myths surrounding the Green Revolution model; (6) we are faced with the challenge of contributing to the construction of an emerging scientific paradigm founded on an ethical-political commitment to the most vulnerable social elements; (7) rural communities are creating agro-ecological alternatives for life in semiarid areas.

agricultural modernization; public policies and society; research; health promotion; health-work-environment

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