CDE research: Pesticide use in Bolivia Photo: Johanna Jacobi Between 2015 and 2018, the CDE-led Swiss r4d project “Towards Food Sustainability” studied the ecological performance of different farming systems in Kenya and Bolivia, including pesticide use. Together with the Universidad Mayor de San Simón, CDE researchers examined use of agrochemicals in Boliva’s San Pedro municipality, where large-scale export-oriented production of soybeans dominates (Bascopé Zanabaria et al., in press). On nine farms studied, a total of 64 pesticide products were found in use, sprayed in different mixtures up to 13 times per cultivation cycle. Of these, 4.7% had a nationally mandated red label for high toxicity and 35.9% had a yellow label for harmful substances. Two products (“Pilaron”, red label, and “Hamidop 600”, yellow) contained methamidophos, an organophosphate officially banned in Bolivia. The controversial herbicide glyphosate was found among the remaining products with “safer” blue or green labels. Altogether, 19 substances used in soybean production qualify as highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs) – such as beta-cyfluthrin, which persists in nature and harms bees and aquatic organisms.