Argentina has become one of the worlds largest soybean producers, with the majority of its soybeans bearing GM glyphosate resistance. Agrochemical spraying in the country has mushroomed over the last several years, in 1990 roughly 9 million gallons of argochemical spraying was needed, compared to today’s requirement of roughly 84 milliongallons.
Included in that was the use of over 200 million liters (52,834 million gallons) of herbicides such as glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup. The country’s entire soybean crop, along with nearly all of its cotton and corn crops, have been genetically modified over the last decade. The GM use has been primarily from crops designed to resist Roundup, which is sprayed onto the fields so only resistant crops grow.
Along with the increase in pesticide use, the country has seen a disturbing and alarming growth in the prevalence of birth defects, cancer rates, and other negative health ailments. This has lead many of its citizens, including medical professionals, to assert the notion that pesticides, GMOs, and biotech giants are the ones to blame.
Two year old Camila Veron [pictured above], was born with multiple organ problems and severely disabled, the doctors had told her family that the agrochemicals might have been to blame. And dozens of other similar cases have been witnessed in the area. It is firmly believed that the herbicide used on the genetically modified crops, may over an extended period of time after consumption, cause brain, intestinal, and heart defects in fetuses. In Ituzaingo, a district comprised of roughly 5,000 people [and surrounded by many soy fields] has seen over the past eight years, more than 300 documented cases of cancer associated with fumigations and pesticides have been experienced, they have reported cancer rates that are 41 times the national average.
Monsanto has [unsurprisingly] denied the claims that their products has contributed in any way to the increased occurrence of experienced birth defects in the nation. Even though dozens of cases have been exposed which illustrate the misuse and illegality of pesticide application, pesticides are showing up in alarming rates in the soil and drinking water. Disturbingly, 80% of children surveyed in one area were found to have pesticides in their blood. Studies have demonstrated that low concentrations of pesticides [such as glyphosate] is understood to harm human cells and cause cancer.
Ironically for those claiming that this is Monsanto’s fault, the pesticides found in human blood at higher quantities were organochlorines… which has nothing to do with glyphosate.
Unfortunately for the Argentina, the Associated Press has documented numerous cases within the country where poisons are being, and have been, applied in ways which are prohibited by existing law, or unanticipated by regulatory science. The blame does not rest solely, or even primarily, on Monsanto, but with the farmers’ misuse posing the primary problem.
Medical professionals in the area have also been advising their clients that pesticide application within the country may be to blame. It is important to remember that Glyphosate is not the most toxic pesticide being used, and that genetic modification itself is surely not to blame.