Desenvolvimento e Meio Ambiente (2020-12-01)

Movement and countermovement and the configurations of the political field around the use of pesticides in Brazil

  • Joana Thereza Vaz de Moura,
  • Cimone Rozendo,
  • Marcio Vilela de Oliveira

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 54, no. 0


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In the last decade, the debate on the use of pesticides has been intensified in Brazil due to the return of Bill 6,299 / 02 to the parliamentary agenda. The initiative of the “ruralist bank”, the PL aims to make the current legislation more flexible, considered an obstacle to the economic development of the agribusiness sector, allowing the intensified use of pesticides. In opposition to this movement, several social and health organizations joined in the “Permanent Campaign Against Pesticides and For Life” being one of its strategies, the proposition of PL 6670/2016, whose objective is to limit the use of these products. These disputes constitute an important political field, the object of analysis of this article. Starting from the conceptions of movement and countermovement, derived from the theory of social movements, we tried to understand the coping relationships between these groups through the discursive repertoires mobilized to conquer public opinion and their political strategies against and in favor of the Laws. We used as sources of research: interviews, testimonies of representatives of these groups, available in newspapers, magazines, websites, public hearings and the PL document. It was identified that the movement / countermovement relationship brought significant institutional impacts. Agreements between the State and agribusiness have favored changes in the legislation on pesticide by intensifying the release of new products, lowering the toxicity classification system by admitting products banned in other countries. In this process, efforts to build a positive image of the sector through political coalitions, with strong media appeal and great political lobby have contributed. In similar way, but with less incidence, the countermovement has established important international alliances mobilizing public opinion and managed to implement restrictive policies for use at the municipal and state levels.