10 Years of Blog Archive

Friday, April 06, 2012

Ecuador Bans Hazardous Pesticides

While doing some research about some of Ecuador's food, namely corn and hominy, which are staples here, I came upon some very good articles about Ecuador's farming practices that we think every single person who is thinking of moving to Ecuador will be glad to know.

Ecuador Bans Hazardous Pesticides
By Pesticide Action Network July, 30, 2010 

Ecuadorian Congress banned an entire category of highly toxic pesticides. Announced as an act of support for its constitutional commitment to food sovereignty, the Ecuadorian Congress banned an entire category of highly toxic pesticides, slated to take effect September 30, 2010. Ecuador cancelled the registration of all pesticides assessed by the World Health Organization to be extremely or highly hazardous (classes 1a and 1b), including many familiar and controversial pesticides that continue to be used in the U.S, such as the organophosphates and carbamates

These pesticides have recently been linked to increased rates of ADHD in levels found in the average diet of an American child, and have long been concerns of farmworkers and children's health advocates. As of September 2010, Ecuador will prohibit the manufacture, formulation, import, commercialization and use of these pesticides. The decision impacts pesticides used in agriculture; agents used for human disease control are exempt. Dr. Monserrathe Bejarano, Executive Director of AGROCALIDAD, the federal Ecuadorian agency that oversees food and agriculture, signed the public statement and official record of decision. 

Ecuador's constitution establishes food sovereignty (in U.S. terms, food democracy) as a strategic objective of their nation - legal language plainly states that it is the obligation of the government to guarantee people and communities ongoing self-sufficiency through access to nutritious and culturally-appropriate foods. Impervious to industry claims that industrial agriculture is needed to "feed the world," Ecuador sees the elimination of highly hazardous pesticides as key to secure and safe access to healthy, good food for the nation. 

UPDATE 2014: While we can safely say that Ecuador does not use harsh chemicals; they still do use some pesticides on some of the produce, which invariably are not good for your health. However, we asked a indigenous farmer who was spraying something on his cabbage plants about it and he said that the chemicals are watered down and used sparingly. He went on to tell us that most farmers cannot afford to buy expensive, heavy-duty chemicals.

So is the food at the Mercado's sprayed? Some are and some aren't. We've noticed that major stores such as Coral and Supermaxi sell organic foods all the time for the same price as non-organic, look on the labels. 

GM Foods: Global Policies July 21, 2011
By Robin Lane

Across the pond, the EU is considering giving countries the right to decide whether or not to grow GM crops in their individual countries. Will certain countries be allowed to sell their GM crops to countries that ban the growth of such crops? Do the rights of farmers -- to make decisions about which crops to grow -- outweigh the rights of consumers -- to be protected from potential risks of GM food? Currently, Ecuador bans the growing of GM crops, but allows imports. The law on food sovereignty was passed earlier this year stating that “raw materials containing transgenic inputs may only be imported and processed, provided they meet the requirements of health and safety, and their reproductive capacity is disabled by the breaking of grains.”


  1. Hey guys great post your comments on Ecuador's organic food processes are going to show expats the healthy lifestyle that is available in Cuenca Ecuador man I really enjoy your blog...Joe

  2. Plenty of herbicides and pesticides are used here....watering them down is like being a little bit pregnant; it's still a toxic poison, and used indiscriminately by local growers, with no oversight by anyone as to how much and where it is used.

  3. yes that's true, one must be very careful, especially with food from outdoor Mercados.

  4. Hello! I am currently writing my thesis on the topic of highly toxic pesticides in Ecuador. could you please send me the sources where you got the information that the Ecuadorian Congress banned an entire category of highly toxic pesticides? This would very enriching for my thesis. Best regards, Anja

    1. Hi Anja, the website where we got the information is posted in the article. 'Pesticide Action Network'

      For the "direct" source you will have to do the research. Here's Ecuador's Agricultural website where more info might be found.

  5. A few days ago February 2017, I saw a farm worker in a yellow hazard suit from head to toe, spraying his fields, about an hour outside Quito. I doubt they were safe chemicals, the way he was dressed. Also, although I love Ecuador, I think it is disingenuous to point to a law which states one thing, without pointing out that the rule of law there is not very reliable. A law can proclaim safe foods all day and all night, but do you really think the government enforces such rules reliably? I do not entirely trust products labeled as organic in the United States, much less in Ecuador. We need to love Ecuador, and the USA, but be realistic when we report things like this.

    1. Hi Cory, thanks for all that, perhaps you haven't seen these articles we reported about the produce in Ecuador. We have over 1000 articles and to only read one or two is doing yourself a disservice as we report the positive aspects of life abroad as well as the negative. You aren't telling us anything we didn't already know. see article below.

      Tricks of the Trade of the Produce Vendors at the Mercado:

      PS...even so, if we had to compare, we do think the meat and produce in Ecuador is cleaner than the USA.


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