New Internationalist

The Vicious Circle

November 1983

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DUMPING [image, unknown] export hazards

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The Vicious Circle
In a world of growing food interdependence we cannot export our hazards and then forget them. There is no refuge from this vicious cycle. The mushrooming of chemicals in the Third World is a daily threat to millions there – and a growing threat to consumers here. All of us should be allies in a common effort to reduce the production and use of chemicals to a safe level.

[image, unknown] 1 Dangerous chemicals which may have been banned or strictly controlled in the West are sold to the Third World where they enter air, water and land through farming and factories.

2 This practise is widespread because of under-regulation of dangerous substances, corruption ignorance of the hazards and different environmental conditions.

3 People using the chemicals on the land or in workshops can be poisoned.

4 Some poisons may be absorbed into plants, and eaten by animals destined for local and foreign markets.

5 The water supply can also be contaminated.

6 So local consumers can breathe eat or drink dangerous chemicals.

7 And the banned substances can come back in to the West in food imports and poison us too.

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This feature was published in the November 1983 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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This article was originally published in issue 129

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