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‘Victory’ For Farmers: Groups Welcome End Of FAO #ToxicAlliance With Pesticide Industry


PAN Asia Pacific (PANAP) joins civil society and Indigenous Peoples organisations in welcoming the end of a three-year controversial partnership agreement between the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and CropLife International, an association of the world’s largest agrochemical corporations.

Led by PAN International, 11 organisations today issued a statement saying that they have received confirmation of a decision by the FAO to not renew its Letter of Intent (LoI) with CropLife. The LoI, entered by both parties on October 2020, triggered calls by civil society, IPs, academics, philanthropists and a UN expert for the FAO to rescind an agreement that directly ties the agency to the world’s largest manufacturers of the most deadly pesticides such as Bayer, Syngenta and Corteva.

The groups called the decision to end the LoI a “victory for farmers, farmworkers, and rural communities most affected by pesticide harms.”

“We are glad that three years of campaigning has brought us this victory. While we are aware that the pesticide industry continues to hold significant influence in UN institutions through private sector mechanisms cloaked as multistakeholderism, we hope that the #ToxicAlliance goes down in history as an example of how the people’s vigilance and resistance can block the most egregious forms of corporate capture,” said PANAP’s Ilang-Ilang Quijano, co-coordinator of the campaign.

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The groups said that they now looked forward to the FAO delivering on its commitments in the new Global Framework on Chemicals (GFC) and leading the work of the Global Alliance on Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs).

“The FAO has a golden opportunity to show that it will make substantial progress on phasing out the most hazardous pesticides known as HHPs worldwide, and supporting the transition towards sustainable, resilient and equitable production systems under the agroecological paradigm,” the groups stated.

However, the groups expressed concern over continuing informal engagements between the FAO and CropLife. They cautioned the UN agency against entering into any new partnership or agreement with the pesticide industry, and instead encouraged increased collaboration with small-scale food providers, IPs and civil society towards phasing out HHPs, reducing reliance on pesticides, and transitioning to agroecology.

“Ultimately, pesticide industry-led corporate capture not only undermines the credibility of UN institutions, but further entrenches corporate control over our food systems. As the phase out of HHPs and their replacement with agroecology requires a dismantling of this system of control and the exercise of people’s food sovereignty, it becomes ever more imperative for Global South farming communities–and not corporations–to be at the center of all global efforts towards this necessary transition,” Quijano concluded.

Read the full statement in English, French and Spanish

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