The impact of market-based sustainability approaches on agrochemical and antibiotic use: a synthesis paper

Synthesis paper
Research report

Published 21st September 2020 by Evidensia. Authored by Evidensia

Summary

Agrochemicals and antibiotics play a vital role in boosting land productivity and controlling pest and disease outbreaks in the agricultural, forestry, livestock, and aquaculture sectors. However, overuse of these substances negatively impacts human and environmental health. Likewise, while antibiotics are critical for keeping infections from spreading in the livestock and aquaculture sectors, the use of antibiotics for non-therapeutic applications is increasing. Overuse and improper application of these drugs increases the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, leading to the development of dangerously resilient strains of bacteria that cannot be controlled with pharmaceuticals. To address these issues, many market-based sustainability approaches such as voluntary sustainability standards (VSS), sustainable sourcing codes, and public sustainability standards, include criteria for practices that control agrochemical use, promote soil health, and prohibit the use of non-therapeutic antibiotics. However, to date, there has been no systematic review of the evidence to understand the impacts of such market-based tools on agrochemical and antibiotic use. This review fills this gap. It investigates the impact of market-based sustainability approaches on agrochemicals, soil quality, and antibiotic use. Concerning agrochemicals and soil quality, we evaluate the impacts of programs on four outcomes in the agriculture, forestry, and livestock sectors: 1) fertilizer use; 2) pesticide use; 3) soil erosion; and 4) soil health. On antibiotics, we investigate the impact of market-based sustainability approaches on antibiotic use in the livestock and aquaculture sectors, as measured through any of the following four metrics: 1) amount of non-therapeutic antibiotics used; 2) frequency of use of non-therapeutic antibiotics; 3) accumulation of antibiotics in waterways; and 4) presence of antibiotic resistance.

Research detail

The impact of market-based sustainability approaches on agrochemical and antibiotic use: a synthesis paper

Synthesis paper
Research report

Published 21st September 2020 by Evidensia. Authored by Evidensia

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