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It was confirmed that the organic farmers of Capanema did not use the Endosulfan, according to the evaluation of more than two hundred analysis and further internal and external information sources.

Lach&Bruns affirm confirm? the control boards’ statement. The massive use in conventional agriculture is the reason for the contamination of the organic soy. Its sale has probably been boosted because of the approaching worldwide ban. The press and the licensing authority ANVISA have expressed the same fear. This is demonstrated by the massive rise in Imports and sales in the region.

The examined conventional soy is around ten times more contaminated then the organic soy. These measurements match the conventional trade experiences. Thus there is a significant difference between the use and background exposure. Endosulfan is volatile and only decomposes slowly – therefore it can be found in the rain, the air and in rivers. The contamination is predominantly due to rain and dry deposition.

Further conclusions can be drawn from the data. Neither larger fields with less boundary surface to conventional agriculture nor hedges between organic and conventional fields are able to solve the problem. The average contamination values of organic farmers with insufficient hedges were even lower than those with good hedges. This is an interesting result, considering the controversy of the claim for separation from conventional agriculture by hedges. Neither the European Union nor the USA want this, however the smallholders in the South are very much in favour of these measures. This places a heavy burden on the smallholder families, because their fields are already small.

But a certain regionality of the contamination could be detected. Compared to regions with extensive cultivation, the values were around double as high in regions with intensive conventional agriculture traces have been measured in very remote regions as well. The Hostettler family living near the San Rafael National Park in Paraguay and cultivating for years not only according to organic but even “Knospe” – standards (www.bio-suisse.ch) give a good example. The cultivation according to Demeter-standards as well as the duration of the organic production both do not make a difference in the contamination.

The contamination is thus neither due to the soil nor solely the conventional neighbours. It has mostly been transported by air or rain over medium-range and long distances. This is no surprise knowing that up to 70 % of the sprayed poison can evaporate within two days at cool temperatures. During this years’ cultivation period the climate was extremely hot and humid.

Furthermore; the examination shows the importance of professional advice and intensive control. A mixture of the organic soy with conventional soy or even the use of Endosulfan has been detected as probable with two families. Their soy has been downgraded as a precaution and sold as conventional soy.




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