World News: The Impossible Equation in the Search for Enough

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The free trade agreement signed between the European Union and Mercosur sends a watermark to the issues of food security and environmental protection in a context of continued demographic growth with projected growth far outweighing the ability to produce.

Criticized even before being validated, the free trade agreement between the European Union and the Mercosur countries (note: Mercado Comun des Sur - Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, Bolivia) refers to the two political entities but more broadly still Humanity its contradictions in terms of food security and environmental protection, the two notions being ultimately intrinsically linked.


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First of all, in terms of food security, with a population of around 7.7 billion at present and projected to reach 10 billion in 2050, the question of global food is: Will the world's food resources be sufficient to feed the entire planet at the dawn of the years 2050-2060?

Effects and Pesticides

Such an agreement, presented as such in any case, the advance and the assumption but the alliance between the Mercosur countries (290 million inhabitants) and the European Union (512 million inhabitants) is not a global agreement only intercontinental, so it is limited in its effects and scope to a sphere Europe - South America while remaining under the seal of a treaty primarily economic and commercial.

Some argue, and rightly so, that this treaty does not have a global international vocation, but that it concludes negotiations begun more than twenty years ago and which find their epilogue here.

At the same time, this agreement also raises concerns about the protection of the environment. The Mercosur countries, Brazil and Argentina at the top, the world's largest agricultural powers (Brazil is even named the World's Farm) use banned pesticides in Europe and France in particular.


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But if the signatories of this treaty have said that the respect in the matter, hear the non-use of banned pesticides in Europe would be total (the Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro having even repeated his attachment to this specific point) it does not remain less than these two large countries and others with them practice heavy intensive agriculture not very respectful of the environment with regard to the erosion of soil generated, the premature exhaustion of the latter and not insignificant point, social effects on people brought to work on their farms.

It would be unfair, however, to criticize only the Mercosur countries because many European countries, France in the lead, also practice intensive agriculture with devastating effects on the environment. But at the time of environmental questioning, the free-trade treaty, without shocking, questions more than it promises to solve the problems it aims to resolve.

Resources and Protection

The import of products grown or raised using various chemicals (fertilizer, antibiotic, genetically modified organism, insecticides, pesticides, ...) remains a particularly attractive choice in view of the resources and limited capacity of the planet. The equation posed is nevertheless extremely complicated to solve and the agreement signed, but not yet validated, solves it, even partially, in nothing.


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On the contrary, it by-passes and evades it, while it does not necessarily call for an umpteenth trade agreement but a successful reflection on the use of global food resources, the exploitation of land and livestock.

Demographic projections show that the world's population will continue to grow, with Africa and Asia among the most active.


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Thus, the attractive European Union - Mercosur agreement is the illustration of a contradiction between the world-wide desire to protect the environment and the imperative, even the imperative, need for to ensure the food security of regions of the world which are certainly consuming but in search of economic and commercial vitality, particularly for the Mercosur countries.

 

 

Bio: Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

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