Farmers, scientists, and environmentalists are fighting over the use of pesticides as new diseases threaten orange, olive, and wheat. The farmers dedicated to oranges, lemons, and tangerines are terrified as the yellow dragon disease, the most devastating disease of citrus fruits, unleashed by bacteria, is already destroying trees in Asia, Africa, and America.
Yellow Dragon Disease
The microbe yellows the leaves and deforms the fruits, also causing an unpleasant taste, between bitter and salty, which ruins the crops. There’s no cure for it and in Florida, in the USA, alone, the pest has caused losses of more than one billion dollars.
The yellow dragon bacteria do not travel alone but on the back of the African psila, a tiny flying insect of sub-Saharan origin. In 2014, all the alarms went off as the insect was detected on the European continent, for the first time in history.
The EU immediately prepared a contingency plan and authorized the use of an insecticide, thiamethoxam, to combat the winged bug carrying the microbe and prevent a catastrophe that would leave markets without oranges, lemons, and tangerines.
However, the recent regulations forbid the use of such insecticides and pesticides.
China is monopolizing the pesticides and insecticides industry
A company controlled by the Chinese Communist Party bought the manufacturer of the insecticide banned by the EU on Friday for more than $40 billion.
The same pesticide is a poison according to Greenpeace and an insecticide acceptable only under very specific conditions by EU’s EFSA but a geostrategic “gold mine” for China, the country that experienced the birth of the yellow dragon pest.
With 1.4 billion mouths to feed, and increasing, China has nothing to give up. It abandons the cultivation of transgenic plants, demonized in Europe, and buys the world’s agricultural R&D, aiming specifically at pesticides and insecticides sectors.
ChemChina has also acquired Israel’s Adama, the global empire of generic plant pesticides, namely, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides.
Risks of pesticide exposure
Chronic pesticide exposure has been linked to developmental disorders, infertility, and a number of diseases such as cancer, particularly in farmers and pregnant women and children growing in farming communities, as a recent editorial in The Lancet noted.
Manufacturers are fighting against the classification of pesticide as poisons, as proclaimed by environmental organizations such as Greenpeace.
In conclusion, in the face of harmful plants diseases such as the yellow dragon disease, the war between environmentalists and pesticides producers has begun and China came out to monopolize this market, recording purchases of the biggest manufacturers in the pesticides and insecticides industry.