5 Biggest Pesticide Companies Making Billions From ‘Highly Hazardous’ Chemicals

Tractor spraying wheat field with sprayer

5 Biggest Pesticide Companies Are Making Billions From ‘Highly Hazardous’ Chemicals, Investigation Finds

By: Jordan Davidson

Poor people in developing countries are far more likely to suffer from exposure to pesticides classified as having high hazard to human health or the environment, according to new data that Unearthed analyzed.

The analysis shows that the world’s top five pesticide makers are making billions, accounting for more than 36 percent of their income, from chemicals that are proven to hazards to humans and the environment and are contributing to the precipitous demise of bee populations, as Unearthed reported.

The researchers have found that the sale of these very highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs), disproportionately occurred in poorer nations, which often have fewer regulations than industrialized nations, according to The Guardian. In India, for example, sales of HHPs were nearly 60 percent, while in the UK it was just 11 percent.

The report from the investigative team at Unearthed focused on the practices of Bayer, BASF, Corteva (formerly Dow and DuPont), FMC and Syngenta, which are continuing to sell HHPs like neonicotinoids and glufosinate that have been banned in other parts of the world, according to the produce industry publication Fresh Produce Journal.

Unearthed dove into data collected by Phillips McDougall, the leading agribusiness analysts, from buyer surveys that concentrated on the best sellers in the top 43 pesticide buying countries, as The Guardian reported.

While regulations have stopped the sale of certain pesticides in Europe, the U.S. and Canada, it has hardly slowed down chemical companies, which sold $4.8 billion worth of products containing HHPs in 2018, as The Guardian reported. Bayer called the analysis “misleading” but did not offer proof of that assessment.

Since the investigation focused on just 43 countries, it covered less than half of the companies’ global sales. That suggests that the companies actually made billions more from pesticides that regulatory agencies have said pose hazards like acute poisoning or chronic illness in people, or high toxicity to bees and other wildlife, according to Unearthed.

The investigation found that pesticide manufacturers sold the majority of its highly hazardous pesticide in low- and middle-income countries like Brazil and India, where experts say the risks posed by using these chemicals are greatest, according to Unearthed. The biggest market for HHPs were for corn and soya crops.

About a quarter of sales were from products known to be human carcinogens or dangerous to reproductive health. Another 10 percent were toxic to bees. An additional 4 percent of chemicals sold are acutely toxic to humans. Every year, nearly 200,000 suicides are linked to pesticide poisoning, almost entirely in developing countries, according to The Guardian.

“This investigation shows that there is a huge disconnect between what those companies are saying in the international policy arena and what they are actually doing,”

Meriel Watts, a senior science and policy advisor to the Pesticide Action Network, said to Unearthed.

Baskut Tuncak, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on toxic substances and human rights, told Unearthed, “There is nothing sustainable about the widespread use of highly hazardous pesticides for agriculture.”

“Whether they poison workers, extinguish biodiversity, persist in the environment, or accumulate in a mother’s breast milk, these are unsustainable, cannot be used safely, and should have been phased out of use long ago,” Tuncak said.


This article (5 Biggest Pesticide Companies Are Making Billions From ‘Highly Hazardous’ Chemicals, Investigation Finds) was originally created and published by EcoWatch and is republished here under “Fair Use” (see disclaimer below) with attribution to author Jordan Davidson and ecowatch.com.



Stay tuned to …


The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)


Comment Policy: As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, or personal/abusive attacks on other users. This also applies to trolling, the use of more than one alias, or just intentional mischief. Enforcement of this policy is at the discretion of this websites administrators. Repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without prior warning.


Disclaimer: TLB websites contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, health, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.


Disclaimer: The information and opinions shared are for informational purposes only including, but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material are not intended as medical advice or instruction. Nothing mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

2 Comments on 5 Biggest Pesticide Companies Making Billions From ‘Highly Hazardous’ Chemicals

  1. Stephen, if you wish to submit a related commentary (article) please do and thanks for your comments !!!

  2. Blame the corporate perpetrators, and of course, their government lackeys for allowing/supporting this ecocide, but, we the people are stupid enough to actually purchase and use these toxins… on our food and around their homes no less. Commercial farmers, supposed to be grounded folk living in harmony with Nature sell out to the “easy way to maximize profits”, while the mind washed suburbanite zombies too fat, dumbed-down and lazy to stoop down and weed by hand or hoe spray glyphosate and other poisons on their lawns and backyard gardens. We can continue to play victim and blame the corporate-government but in the end we allow it and embrace it… ‘we’ of much higher numbers than ‘they’… ergo the poisons. Ecocide equates to genocide. God help us to wake up en masse and claim our right natural right to natural light, clean air, water, soils and food (along with zero ionizing and non-ionizing radiation/frequencies)… all together the basis of robust health. Disease would disappear and we wouldn’t “need” their poison vaccines either. Blame them but it’s our fault. Articles like this one abound but nothing ever changes. One goes to a protest rally demanding action to stop and seven people are there… it’s our collective fault that we are choosing to be victims… of course, the mind washing has been very effective, but only because we choose not to confront ‘it’… it’s on us and we must take responsibility and shout it down every time one encounters it. Even if you don’t, is your neighbor spraying Roundup for a great looking toxic yard? …they are poisoning you, too! …yet, we are conditioned and domesticated not to say anything and mind your own buisiness… if that’s you, then you’re part of the problem, too. So don’t blame anyone unless you actively resist… otherwise one is nothing but hypocritical.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.