5 largest myths of agribusiness

Many myths of agribusiness, and outside of it, are responsible for confusing public opinion and can even influence important decisions about politics, economics and social behaviors.

Informing yourself is a great resource to think intelligently and to not reproduce false or distorted information that can interfere in future positionings.

This alert goes to any type of subject, after all, un-truths travel very quickly and can be taken as facts, including those news that circulate on social networks. But, in this text, we will check out the largest myths of agribusiness, some, by the way, that you may have passed along without realizing.

Transgenics harm your health

Unlike what many believe, transgenic foods (every organism that has had changes in their DNA) do not harm human, animal health or the environment. This type of product receives a gene from another organism to have a characteristic that it did not have before, such as resistance to pests or environments.

Although many believe that these modifications are dangerous, transgenic foods are as safe for consumption as those that use conventional technologies to perform the cross-breeding of plants. An example of good use is the production of insulin, which has 100% transgenic origin and is widely used by the diabetic population.

Large producers are responsible for the deforestation of the Amazon

There are no studies that prove this statement. Ipam (Institute of Environmental Research of the Amazon) shows that deforestation in the region, between 2015 and 2016, occurred both in private lands (35.4%) and in agrarian reform settlements (28.6%), besides vacant lands (24%) and Conservation Units (12%).

Moreover, from 2010 to 2016, agrarian reform settlements again appear as the main responsible for deforestation in the Amazon, with 28.9% of the total. Then, the rural properties (24.3%), followed by the “public lands not designated” (24%) and then comes crime within Parks and conservation centers (11.8%).

Milk harms adults

Unless someone has any allergy related to milk sugar (lactose) or protein (APLV), the ingestion of this food is totally safe. Not only that, but its products, such as cheeses, butter, and yogurts, are widely recommended in nutritional protocols because they are good sources of protein and calcium.

We inject poison because of pesticides.

This is one of the most discussed myths. It is true that tropical countries use more defensives in crops, however, despite the large quantity, there have been no cases of intoxication due to ingestion of these chemicals, much less in the long term.

In more complete researches, especially by the Brazilian Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency), there are a total of 250 samples (5.4% of 4,616 analyzes) with pesticide residues above the MRL (Maximum Residue Limit). However, its toxity would be dangerous only with the exaggerated consumption of the food, usually in impossible levels for anyone.

Organic foods are better than conventional foods

First of all, it is enough to think that organic products are still part of a very exclusive niche and, although the justification is that flavor and health are better with this type of food, there are not enough studies that prove this.

According to an experiment conducted by the University of Stanford, no substantial differences were found between foods with organic and conventional fertilization. And in the same way that pesticide residues are the concern in conventional foods, in organic food there is a great risk of bacterial contamination (E. coli).

In fact, organic foods can have defensives in their cultivation. The difference is that they need a natural occurrence product, but this does not mean more food safety.

Bonus: birds are given hormones

This is even understandable. How can a chicken achieve the ideal weight in such a short time? And more, why are animals in farm larger than those created cage-free in small properties? The answer is not in hormones.

The advancement of zootechny was the main responsible for the increase in productivity in poultry and the great evolution of poultry in countries with this activity. And don’t be mistaken, the use of hormones is prohibited in virtually all the world – besides being expensive for production. Even antibiotics, which are used in poultry, do not present risks to humans, since doses administered are sufficient only to prevent diseases and improve animal growth.

Now, tell us: what other great myths of agribusiness have you heard before?


Ana Rízia Caldeira
Ana Rízia Caldeira
A good listener, I truly enjoy moments in which I can see the world and get to know things by the words from other people. Not surprisingly, I got into journalism. And besides bringing contents to Next, I use my abilities of ascertainment and listening to flirt with a mini career in hosting for the MBA USP/Esalq stories, in the segment Você no Camarim. When I’m not making myself busy by being the text and Instagram girl, I like to use my free time to read books, watch a good movie, decorate my house with crochet rugs, draw flowers and exploit my cooking skills. Quando não estou me ocupando em ser a garota dos textos e do Instagram, gosto de usar meu tempo para devorar livros, acompanhar algum bom filme, enfeitar minha casa com tapetes de crochê, desenhar flores e abusar dos meus dotes na cozinha.