San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica consumes more agrochemicals per hectare than any country in the world

To sustain its massive fruit plantations, Costa Rica uses more agrochemicals per hectare of cultivated land than any other country in the world, according to the University of Costa Rica’s weekly newspaper, Semanario Universidad.

Data from the Regional Institute for Studies in Toxic Substances (IRET) showed that Costa Rica uses an average of 18.2 kilograms of agrochemicals per hectare. This is more than both China, which sits at number two with 17 kilograms, and the U.S., which uses an average of 2.5 kilograms per hectare. Since 1977, Costa Rica has imported more than 185,000 metric tons of agrochemicals. In that same time period, the country’s consumption of these substances has more than tripled.

The use of these chemicals in Costa Rica has been linked to health problems in humans. According to data from Costa Rica’s Social Security System (Caja), 146 people were admitted to public hospitals due to poisoning from agrochemicals in 2010. Twelve of those people died.

In April, banana workers protested in front of the Legislative Assembly to demand compensation for their exposure to the toxic pesticide Nemagon. The chemical has been linked to cancer, sterility and genetic deformations.

Related: High levels of fungicide found in pregnant women living near banana plantations



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Fernando Gerdano

CR also the leader with the highest rate of stomach cancer in the world.

Almost no certified organic food available for consumption.

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CR has lost its place for eco friendly dominance. Companies such as those described by other comments and Monsanto should take responsibility but that will never happen. Foreign aid dependent countries such as El Salvador are bullied into using GMO crops and pesticides. For example, at issue was an indication by U.S. ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte that the U.S. may withhold $277 million slated for the second phase of the Millennium Challenge Corporation aid program if the Salvadoran Agriculture Ministry continues its current practice of buying seeds from small-scale Salvadoran producers for its Family Agriculture Plan. CR is next in line. It’s doesn’t appear CR will make any significant changes. CR is not like it use to be.

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Education and maybe a license proving the consumer knows how the chemicals responsibly for the smaller producers.
The big scale crops should have limitations.

As it stands ,flash the $ and you can buy anything your heart desires at the local co-op
Even many of the people selling don’t understand the products they have on the shelves.

Pretty embarrassing statistic for little Eco Costa Rica.

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I truly enjoy Costa Rica’s coffee and fruits but this report is unsettling. When you compare the amounts between Costa Rica and the USA of the agrochemicals, you really need to question why. It is not underestimating the need to control the pests., but what reasons could evoke such amounts? Is it that there are more rapid turnovers in crops due to the nature of Costa Rica’s climate, therefore requiring double or triple amounts of these chemicals? Whatever the reason, farm labourers getting ill from this necessitates a change in controlling the pests. Until a safer formula can be found, preferably completely harmless to the workers and soil etc…, it would be prudent for the government to at the very least immediately impose limits on quantities per hectare. Surely in this day and age, Universities and industries have come up with better, safer pesticides. The best way to gain favour for switching to these is for companies who produce such environmentally safe products is to advertise and promote the hell out of them. People who become “blissfully” aware, particularly politicians just might start supporting this. Producers just might start switching and take advantage of promoting their healthier grown produce. The biggest obstacle will be if the safer product will cost more. So, to make it work…they need to ensure, that the producers costs will be lower. Safer and cheaper, how could that possibly go wrong? Manufacture it….Market….Advertise globally….Promote…Promote!

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Graceann Barrett

Of course, the companies responsible for the use of these chemicals, Dole, Chiquita, and Pindeco (Del Monte) are all United States-based companies allowed to perpetrate environmentally damaging agricultural practices due to contracts established when the Latin American countries were in debt and unstable, resulting in deregulation for the international corporations investing in these countries.

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I am sure the greater majority of the people are blissfully unaware….keep it coming TT.

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