In the midst of negotiations for the approval of the PEC (proposed amendment to the Constitution) of the Transitionthe ruralist caucus managed to advance in the Senate the project that makes the rules for authorizing the use of pesticides more flexible, known as PL do Poisonand pressured the PT to accept the vote on the text later this year.
The project entered the agenda of the Senate Agriculture Committee (CRA) in an extraordinary meeting, scheduled at the last minute, this Monday (19) – in the last week before the parliamentary recess and one day before the date set for the vote on the PEC of Chamber transition.
Traditionally, this committee only meets on Thursdays. In this second session, the new report was read and the matter deliberated, all in less than an hour – and with about half an hour for the text to be analyzed by the parliamentarians, after a request for views.
The PL was almost voted at the end of last month, but the vote was postponed at the request of the transition group of the president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT)🇧🇷 In the last few days, however, the text entered the midst of negotiations for the approval of the Transition PEC, and the PT decided that it would not create embarrassments for the vote in the Senate.
Despite having agreed to vote on the bill, party members say with reservation that the idea is to maintain the position defended so far —against the approval of the PL— and take the discussion to the plenary. The text was approved by the Chamber of Deputies in February and now depends on the approval of the Senate.
Senator Paulo Rocha, leader of the PT in the House, still presented a separate vote during the CRA session. “The PT’s position in this debate must be clear,” he said, criticizing the project and stating that it needed to be debated at length and that the text should be revised to lessen its impacts.
“[Nós] we have no way not to forward against this project, the way it is “, he completed. Even so, the text advanced.
The Ministry of Agriculture had already asked Lula’s interlocutors with agribusiness to take advantage of the negotiations around the Transition PEC to also approve the so-called PL of Self-Control —which changes the current system, exclusively state-owned, and provides for self-control in agricultural production.
Afraid that the so-called PL do Veneno will be approved by Congress in 2023, but vetoed by Lula, the ruralist group wants to ensure that the text is approved in time to be sanctioned by the president Jair Bolsonaro (PL)which is in favor of the changes.
Priority of the Ministry of Agriculture, the PL expands the portfolio’s power to license pesticides and empties the attributions of Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) and Ibama (Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources).
Among other points, the text also replaces the term “pesticide” in the legislation with “pesticide”, and sets the deadline for obtaining the registration of these products. The project also provides for temporary licenses in case the deadline is not met by Organs competent bodies.
The chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, senator Acir Gurgacz (PDT-RO), who is also rapporteur for the PL, presented a new opinion on Friday (16). The rapporteur made occasional adjustments to the text to reduce the resistance of senators who are against approval.
Gurgacz stated that he sought to make it clear that “the competencies of those responsible for the health and environment sectors will be preserved.” The current wording maintains, however, Anvisa and Ibama with homologation function. The change also leaves open what will be the criteria for prioritizing analyzes by the agencies.
The PL put the transition members of the new government linked to agriculture and the environment on a collision course. In a meeting at the end of last month —shortly after the postponement of the vote— the environmentalists suggested the presentation of a new bill, which would have consensus, in the first half of 2023.
The group reinforced that specific amendments, which can still be presented, are no longer able to correct the problems of the text. People who participated in the meeting reported that Gurgacz said he would take the proposal to the ruralist caucus, but did not commit to withdrawing the PL from the agenda definitively this year.
One of the project’s main supporters is Senator Carlos Fávaro (PSD-MT), quoted for the Ministry of Agriculture and one of the coordinators of the new government’s transition agriculture group. Acir Gurgacz is part of Lula’s transition team in the area of infrastructure.
On the other hand, the project is the target of harsh criticism from the former Minister of the Environment and elected federal deputy Marina Silva (Rede-SP), from the working group on the environment. Marina was one of Lula’s main supporters in the second round and is also quoted to take on some post in government.
As shown to Sheet, the PL that makes pesticides more flexible is the main proposal of the package dubbed “boiadinhas” by environmentalists🇧🇷 The president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD), sent the project only to the CRA, dominated by ruralists, and decided to ignore the analysis of the CMA (Commission for the Environment) and the CAS (Commission for Social Affairs).