Latin American nations are gradually restricting or banning use of the most dangerous pesticides, but enforcement of rules is lax. For example, in Colombia, the hazardous insecticide endosulfan used in coffee production was prohibited in 1995, but officials say it is still widely used. In Brazil, which has one of the strictest pesticide laws in Latin America, some previously banned pesticides have been put into use again because of heavy pressure from industry. An official in Chile’s Ministry of Labor admits that a number of children handle pesticides without any gear or training, despite laws designed to protect kids. Margaret Reeves of the U.S.-based Pesticide Action Network places part of the blame on the U.S., which allows its companies to export pesticides that are banned within its own borders.
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