United States and United Nations pesticide policies: Environmental violence against the Yaqui indigenous nation

Elsevier, The Lancet Regional Health - Americas, Volume 10, June 2022
Lopez-Carmen V.A., Erickson T.B., Escobar Z., Jensen A., Cronin A.E., Nolen L.T. et al.

Indigenous Peoples suffer environmental violence related to pesticide exposure, including imported pesticides that are banned in the exporting countries (including the U.S.) due to their known detrimental health impacts and used in or near their traditional territories. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) is a U.S. statue that allows “pesticides that are not approved – or registered – for use in the U.S.” to be manufactured in the U.S. and exported elsewhere. The UN Rotterdam Convention also allows the global exportation of “banned pesticides.” The ongoing exportation of banned pesticides leads to disproportionately high rates of morbidity and mortality, most notably in Indigenous women and children. In this paper, we present evidence describing the documented harms of banned pesticides with a focus on the Yaqui Nation in Sonora, Mexico, give background on the problematic laws allowing these harms, and highlight concrete solutions.