Impact of International Trade on the Environment

Topics: Pesticide, United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization Pages: 3 (1068 words) Published: November 29, 2010
International trade has a great potential to uplift the lives of people in developing countries as well as increasing profits for companies in the developed world. It can also have environmental consequences if the transactions are not consciously provisioned. This potential can flourish when countries come to a common agreement on trade laws that protect against the damages that using these products can bring upon the local community. Pesticide use for agriculture and disease control has been a controversial topic for decades given its toll on people and the environment. Its monitoring has been increasingly successful in industrial countries but almost non-existent in developing countries causing detriment to the health of thousands of farm workers around the world as they repeatedly come in contact with and inhale harmful chemicals. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), different pesticides, when consumed, have varying and inter-related effects as they pass through the food chain. Therefore, the larger concentrations of pesticides are found on larger predators, including men. Among the damages to living organisms, including aquatic species, are cancers, tumors and lesions, reproductive inhibition or failure, suppression of immune system, disruption of endocrine system, cellular and DNA damage, physical deformities such as hooked beaks on birds, poor fish health marked by low red to white blood cell ratio, and death. In some cases, chronic effects are passed from generation to generation and only become apparent in time 1. The persistent and rapidly spreading properties of toxic chemicals present in pesticides do not concern only the developing world. Some, including PCBs can originate in India and ride the wind to the Arctic in just 5 days 2. The FAO’s research discovered that “in the Great Lakes of North America bioaccumulation (or movement of a chemical from the surrounding medium into an organism) and...
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