By Alexa Erickson | Collective Evolution
Though it’s been publicized that humanity requires pesticides to avoid world hunger, a new report by United Nations food and pollution experts says this is actually a myth.
That report calls out corporations that manufacture pesticides, accusing them of “systematic denial of harms,” “aggressive, unethical marketing,” and swaying governments to stop reforms and global pesticide restrictions from passing. According to the report, pesticides have “catastrophic impacts on the environment, human health and society as a whole.” And despite all their harm, pesticides do nothing to help world hunger.
By 2050, the world’s population will reportedly increase by 2 billion people. Considering it’s estimated that about 795 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2014-2016, that projection should disquiet us all. If we are on track to see 9 billion people living on Earth in 2050, world hunger stands to become an even greater problem.
The pesticide industry’s response to such a concern is an argument that its market is an essential part of ensuring sufficient food supplies.
“It is a myth,” said Hilal Elver, the UN’s special rapporteur on the right to food. “Using more pesticides is nothing to do with getting rid of hunger. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), we are able to feed 9 billion people today. Production is definitely increasing, but the problem is poverty, inequality and distribution.”
According to Elver, many of the pesticides used are on commodity crops like palm oil and soy, not foods necessary for treating world hunger. “The corporations are not dealing with world hunger, they are dealing with more agricultural activity on large scales.”
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