tagged w/ BAN GLYPHOSATE
A new review of hundreds of scientific studies surrounding glyphosate—the major component of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide—sheds light on its effects within the human body. The paper describes how all of these effects could work together, and with other variables, trigger health problems in humans, including debilitating diseases like gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Glyphosate impairs the cytochrome P450 (CYP) gene pathway, which creates enzymes that help to form and also break down molecules in cells. There are myriad important CYP enzymes, including aromatase (the enzyme that converts androgen into estrogen) and 21-Hydroxylase, which creates cortisol (stress hormone) and aldosterone (regulates blood pressure). One function of these CYP enzymes is also to detoxify xenobiotics, which are foreign chemicals like drugs, carcinogens or pesticides. Glyphosate inhibits these CYP enzymes, which has rippling effects throughout our body.
Because the CYP pathway is essential for normal functioning of various systems in our bodies, any small change in its expression can lead to disruptions. For example, humans exposed to glyphosate have decreased levels of the amino acid tryptophan, which is necessary for active signaling of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Suppressed serotonin levels have been associated with weight gain, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
This paper does not claim to yield new scientific discoveries. Instead, it looks at older studies in a new light. Critics will say the links between glyphosate and health problems made in this paper are purely correlational, but this work is important because it brings all of the possible health effects of glyphosate together and discusses what could happen: something the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration have failed to do.
Link To Abstract
Another study regarding toxicity of BT toxin (endotoxins) in non target species.
"According to a new study, the ‘Cry’ toxins that Monsanto’s GMO crops have been genetically modified to produce are a lot more toxic to mammals than previously thought, primarily to the blood."
This is very important due to the prevalence of BT in the majority of our food crops and the fact that people are ingesting much more than this study even covered, specifically animals as well through their feed.
I have been saying for years that I suspect that chemicals and pesticides can be correlated to the increase in these diseases as well as diabetes and obesity and that Glyphosate specifically should be banned. They couldn't kill us all with Agent Orange but they keep trying don't they? I hope we do see more unbiased independent testing on this now because I also believe if they are allowed to continue we will see causation.
More at the linkA new review of hundreds of scientific studies surrounding glyphosate—the major... more
Monsanto, Philip Morris and other U.S. tobacco giants knowingly poisoned Argentinean tobacco farmers with pesticides, causing "devastating birth defects" in their children, dozens of workers claim in court. The farmers, on their own behalf and for their injured children, sued Altria Group fka Philip Morris Cos., Philip Morris USA, Carolina Leaf Tobacco, Universal Corporation fka Universal Leaf Tobacco Company, Monsanto, and their affiliates and Argentine subsidiaries, in New Castle County Court.
The farmers grow tobacco on small family-owned farms in Misiones Province and sell it to U.S. tobacco distributors. Most of Argentina's tobacco is grown in Misiones, a rural northeastern province. The farmers claim the tobacco companies asked them to use herbicides, pesticides and other toxic products made and distributed by Monsanto, and assured them the products were safe.
They say the defendants "wrongfully caused the parental and infant plaintiffs to be exposed to those chemicals and substances which they both knew, or should have known, would cause the infant offspring of the parental plaintiffs to be born with devastating birth defects." Birth defects cited in the 55-page complaint include cerebral palsy, psychomotor retardation, epilepsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, metabolic disorders, congenital heart defects, Down syndrome, missing fingers and blindness.
The farmers claim Philip Morris and Carolina Leaf used a tobacco brokerage company, Tabacos Norte, to buy tobacco from the farmers and sell them crop production supplies, including herbicides and pesticides. Tabacos Norte, based in Misiones, was created by Carolina Leaf and Philip Morris' Argentine subsidiary in 1984, to produce tobacco fit for the North and South American markets, according to the complaint. The farmers say the tobacco companies that bought their crops asked them to replace the native tobacco with a new type, used in Philip Morris cigarettes, which required more pesticides.
They say the defendants pushed for excessive use of pesticides and failed to warn them of the dangers or provide them with information or protective gear. Most farmers in Misiones used Roundup, a glyphosate-based herbicide made by Monsanto, to kill weeds and clear tobacco fields, according to the complaint. Monsanto and Philip Morris told them to use glyphosate frequently and in quantities beyond that necessary for effective weed control, the farmers say.
"Monsanto defendants, the Philip Morris defendants, and the Carolina Leaf defendants promoted the use of Roundup and other herbicides to tobacco farmers in Misiones even though they were on direct and explicit notice that at all relevant times farmers in Misiones, including the instant plaintiffs, lacked the necessary personal protective equipment and other safety knowledge and skills required to minimize harmful exposures to Roundup," the complaint states.
"What is more, at all relevant times Tabacos Norte, the Monsanto defendants, the Philip Morris defendants, and the Carolina Leaf defendants did not recommend protective measures to farmers and their families in Misiones. In fact, aforementioned defendants actively recommended and/or required that contracted tobacco farmers, including the instant plaintiffs, purchase excessive quantities of Roundup and other pesticides.
"At all relevant times, defendants were on direct and explicit notice that fruits, vegetables and farm animals designated for family consumption would be contaminated with pesticides including Roundup if contract farmers followed the defendants' aggressive chemical application specifications for tobacco cultivation." Monsanto's pesticides contaminated the farmers' non-tobacco crops, water wells and streams meant for family use, exposing their families to the toxic substances, the farmer say.
"The plaintiff tobacco farmers' lack of training and instruction on the safe disposal of unused Roundup and other pesticides caused further exposure," the complaint states. "Leftover pesticides were discarded in locations where they leached into the water supply." The farmers claim their exposure to the pesticides caused their children's birth defects.
More at the linkMonsanto, Philip Morris and other U.S. tobacco giants knowingly poisoned Argentinean... more
On 28 September 2011, the scientist at the centre of the global row over glyphosate/Roundup herbicide and birth defects met with representatives of the German government to present his scientific findings that Roundup herbicide and the chemical on which it is based, glyphosate, cause birth defects in laboratory animals.
Prof Andres Carrasco, MD, is head of the Molecular Embryology Laboratory at University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and chief scientist at the National Council for Science and Technology (CONICET), Argentina. Carrasco’s findings gave scientific credibility to reports of people in Argentina who claimed escalating rates of birth defects and cancers after the introduction of genetically modified soy, which is engineered to tolerate being sprayed with huge amounts of glyphosate.
Accompanying Dr Carrasco at the meeting were representatives of the sustainability nonprofit organisation Earth Open Source. The delegation met with representatives from BMELV, BVL, UBA, and BfR. The current approval of glyphosate dates from 2002.
The current approval (in common with all approvals of pesticide and genetically modified crops) is based on studies performed by the very same pesticide companies that stand to profit from an approval of the substance.
Originally glyphosate was due to be reviewed in 2012 but the Commission delayed the review until 2015. Germany has a special responsibility in the Roundup controversy because it is the rapporteur member state for glyphosate, responsible for liaising between the pesticide industry, the EU Commission and the EU member states on the EU approval of glyphosate. Germany will remain as the rapporteur member state for the 2015 review of the substance.
In June 2011, Earth Open Source published a report by a group of international scientists, Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark? which examined the original approval documents for glyphosate and found that industry’s own studies from as long ago as the 1980s-1990s (including some commissioned by Monsanto) showed that glyphosate causes birth defects in laboratory animals, specifically rabbits and rats.
Birth defects were found in these industry studies not only at high, maternally toxic doses, but also at lower doses. As the industry studies were supposed to be on pure glyphosate, they show that it is not only the toxic added ingredients in Roundup (called adjuvants or co-formulants) that cause problems, but also glyphosate itself. Earth Open Source disagrees with Germany’s interpretation of these industry studies as laid out in its report to the EU Commission in 1998.
In this report, which formed the basis of the EU Commission’s current approval of glyphosate, Germany incorrectly classified malformations as "rather a developmental variation than a malformation" and dismissed findings of malformations at lower doses.
Earth Open Source believes that as a result of such data being ignored, a potentially unsafe "acceptable daily intake" limit for glyphosate was set by Germany and accepted by the Commission in its 2002 approval. Earth Open Source says that the industry study findings are confirmed by Carrasco’s research, which found birth defects from both Roundup and pure glyphosate.
Carrasco commented that the malformations found in the industry studies were consistent with those found in his own study, as both types of malformations depend on a mechanism called the retinoic acid pathway. Carrasco's findings were not welcomed by some sectors of society in Argentina.
The Argentine government is heavily dependent on the soy economy because it has levied taxes of 35% on soy exports. Earth Open Source believes that the Argentine situation is highly relevant to Europe. Much the soy grown in Argentina is imported into Europe to feed our livestock and it is unclear that these glyphosate-sprayed soy imports are tested for residues.
In addition, there are several applications in the EU approvals pipeline for the cultivation of GM herbicide-tolerant crops, which, if cultivated in Europe, will result in an escalation of glyphosate exposure. Claire Robinson, spokesperson for Earth Open Source, said, "We requested this meeting to bring attention to the inadequacies of the current approvals process for pesticides and other risky substances.
"We asked the German government to conduct a rigorous and transparent review of glyphosate for the 2015 review – taking into account the full range of independent scientific findings as well as the industry studies.
"On the EU level, we are asking the Commission to cease allowing industry to conduct its own studies on risky substances like pesticides, chemicals, genetically modified foods, and food additives. "Instead, industry should pay money into a central fund administered by the EU government and the government should commission independent scientists to do the studies.
The scientists doing the testing could be blinded to the identity of the substance and its manufacturer to ensure impartiality.
"We thank the German government representatives for their willingness to listen to our concerns and hope that together we can move the approvals process in the direction of stronger science and better protection of human health and the environment."
Notes 1. Paganelli, A., Gnazzo, V., Acosta, H., Lopez, S.L., Carrasco, A.E. 2010. Glyphosate-based herbicides produce teratogenic effects on vertebrates by impairing retinoic acid signalling. Chem. Res. Toxicol., August 9.http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/tx1001749
2. Antoniou et al. Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark? Earth Open Source. June 2011.http://www.earthopensource.org/index.php/reports/17-roundup-and-birth-defects-is-the-public-being-kept-in-the-darkOn 28 September 2011, the scientist at the centre of the global row over... more
EXTRACT: "Though glyphosate is the mostly widely used herbicide in the world, we know very little about its long term effects to the environment," says Paul Capel, USGS chemist and an author on this study. "This study is one of the first to document the consistent occurrence of this chemical in streams, rain and air throughout the growing season."
Widely Used Herbicide Commonly Found in Rain and Streams in the Mississippi River Basin
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communications and Publishing
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr, MS 119
Reston, VA 20192 Paul Capel
Phone: (612) 625-3082
Phone: (571) 420-9408
Glyphosate, also known by its tradename Roundup, is commonly found in rain and rivers in agricultural areas in the Mississippi River watershed, according to two new USGS studies released this month.
Glyphosate is used in almost all agricultural and urban areas of the United States. The greatest glyphosate use is in the Mississippi River basin, where most applications are for weed control on genetically-modified corn, soybeans and cotton. Overall, agricultural use of glyphosate has increased from less than 11,000 tons in 1992 to more than 88,000 tons in 2007.
"Though glyphosate is the mostly widely used herbicide in the world, we know very little about its long term effects to the environment," says Paul Capel, USGS chemist and an author on this study. "This study is one of the first to document the consistent occurrence of this chemical in streams, rain and air throughout the growing season. This is crucial information for understanding where management efforts for this chemical would best be focused."
In these studies, Glyphosate was frequently detected in surface waters, rain and air in areas where it is heavily used in the basin. The consistent occurrence of glyphosate in streams and air indicates its transport from its point of use into the broader environment.
Additionally, glyphosate persists in streams throughout the growing season in Iowa and Mississippi, but is generally not observed during other times of the year. The degradation product of glyphosate, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), which has a longer environmental lifetime, was also frequently detected in streams and rain.
Detailed results of this glyphosate research are available in "Occurrence and fate of the herbicide glyphosate and its degradate aminomethylphosphonic acid in the atmosphere," published in volume 30 of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry and in "Fate and transport of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid in surface waters of agricultural basins," published online in Pest Management Science. Copies of the reports are available from the journals or from Paul Capel ( email@example.com).
Research on the transport of glyphosate was conducted as part of the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program. The NAWQA program provides an understanding of water-quality conditions, whether conditions are getting better or worse over time, and how natural features and human activities affect those conditions. Additional information on the NAWQA program can be found online.
http://eii.org/eijournal/spring05/images/spraying.jpgEXTRACT: "Though glyphosate is the mostly widely used herbicide in the world, we... more
Public kept in the dark on Roundup link with birth defects
*Industry knew since 1980s, regulators since 1990s*
Earth Open Source
Press release for immediate release, 7 June 2011
Industry and EU regulators knew as long ago as the 1980s-1990s that Roundup, the world's best selling herbicide, causes birth defects – but they failed to inform the public. This is the conclusion of a new report, "Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark?" co-authored by a group of international scientists and researchers and released today.
The report reveals that industry's own studies (including one commissioned by Monsanto) showed as long ago as the 1980s that Roundup's active ingredient glyphosate causes birth defects in laboratory animals.
The German government has known about these findings since at least the 1990s, when as the "rapporteur" member state for glyphosate, it reviewed industry's studies for the EU approval of the herbicide. The European Commission has known since at least 2002, when it signed off on glyphosate's approval.
But this information was not made public. On the contrary, regulators have consistently misled the public about glyphosate's safety. As recently as last year, the German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, BVL, told the Commission there was "no evidence of teratogenicity" (ability to cause birth defects) for glyphosate.
BVL made this comment in its rebuttal of an independent scientific study published last year by Argentine scientists. The study showed that Roundup and glyphosate cause birth defects in frogs and chickens at concentrations much lower than those used in agricultural spraying. The study was prompted by reports of high rates of birth defects and cancers in areas of South America growing genetically modified (GM) Roundup Ready soy, which is engineered to tolerate being sprayed liberally with glyphosate herbicide.
In its rebuttal of the Argentine study, BVL cited as proof of glyphosate's safety the industry studies submitted for the Commission's 2002 approval of glyphosate (the approval that is currently in force).
But the authors of the new report obtained the approval documents and found that contrary to BVL's claim, industry's own studies, conducted in the 1980s and 1990s, showed that glyphosate/Roundup causes birth defects in experimental animals. In some cases, these effects occurred at low doses.
The German authorities and the EU Commission's ECCO expert review panel whitewashed the findings and the Commission approved the herbicide.
Claire Robinson, a co-author of the new report and spokesperson for the sustainability NGO Earth Open Source, which published it, said, "This looks like a thirty-year cover-up by industry and regulators and it has certainly placed the public at risk. Roundup is used not only by farmers but by home gardeners and in school grounds and other public areas, in part because of false marketing claims that it is safe."
Commission delays review of glyphosate
A new, more stringent pesticide regulation comes into force in the EU this June. An objective review of glyphosate under this new regulation would almost certainly result in a ban. This is because under the regulation, independent studies have to be taken into consideration. Many of these studies, summarised in the new report, show that glyphosate and Roundup cause birth defects, cancer, genetic damage, endocrine disruption, and other serious effects, often at very low doses.
Glyphosate was due to be reviewed in 2012. But late last year, the Commission quietly passed a directive delaying the review of glyphosate and 38 other pesticides until 2015.
Public kept in the dark on Roundup link with birth defects
*Industry knew... more
Don Huber spent 35 years as a plant pathologist at Purdue University and knows a lot about what causes green plants to turn yellow and die prematurely. He asked the seed dealer why the SDS was so severe in the one area of the field and not the other. “Did you plant something there last year that wasn’t planted in the rest of the field?” he asked. Sure enough, precisely where the severe SDS was, the dealer had grown alfalfa, which he later killed off at the end of the season by spraying a glyphosate-based herbicide (such as Roundup). The healthy part of the field, on the other hand, had been planted to sweet corn and hadn’t received glyphosate.
This was yet another confirmation that Roundup was triggering SDS. In many fields, the evidence is even more obvious. The disease was most severe at the ends of rows where the herbicide applicator looped back to make another pass (see photo). That’s where extra Roundup was applied.
Don’s a scientist; it takes more than a few photos for him to draw conclusions. But Don’s got more—lots more. For over 20 years, Don studied Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate. He’s one of the world’s experts. And he can rattle off study after study that eliminate any doubt that glyphosate is contributing not only to the huge increase in SDS, but to the outbreak of numerous other diseases. (See selected reading list.)
Sudden Death Syndrome is more severe at the ends of rows, where Roundup dose is strongest. Photo by Amy Bandy.
Roundup: The perfect storm for plant disease
More than 30% of all herbicides sprayed anywhere contain glyphosate—the world’s bestselling weed killer. It was patented by Monsanto for use in their Roundup brand, which became more popular when they introduced “Roundup Ready” crops starting in 1996. These genetically modified (GM) plants, which now include soy, corn, cotton, canola, and sugar beets, have inserted genetic material from viruses and bacteria that allows the crops to withstand applications of normally deadly Roundup.
(Monsanto requires farmers who buy Roundup Ready seeds to only use the company’s Roundup brand of glyphosate. This has extended the company’s grip on the glyphosate market, even after its patent expired in 2000.)
The herbicide doesn’t destroy plants directly. It rather cooks up a unique perfect storm of conditions that revs up disease-causing organisms in the soil, and at the same time wipes out plant defenses against those diseases. The mechanisms are well-documented but rarely cited.
1.The glyphosate molecule grabs vital nutrients and doesn’t let them go. This process is called chelation and was actually the original property for which glyphosate was patented in 1964. It was only 10 years later that it was patented as an herbicide. When applied to crops, it deprives them of vital minerals necessary for healthy plant function—especially for resisting serious soilborne diseases. The importance of minerals for protecting against disease is well established. In fact, mineral availability was the single most important measurement used by several famous plant breeders to identify disease-resistant varieties.
1.Glyphosate annihilates beneficial soil organisms, such as Pseudomonas and Bacillus bacteria that live around the roots. Since they facilitate the uptake of plant nutrients and suppress disease-causing organisms, their untimely deaths means the plant gets even weaker and the pathogens even stronger.
1.The herbicide can interfere with photosynthesis, reduce water use efficiency, lower lignin , damage and shorten root systems, cause plants to release important sugars, and change soil pH—all of which can negatively affect crop health.
1.Glyphosate itself is slightly toxic to plants. It also breaks down slowly in soil to form another chemical called AMPA (aminomethylphosphonic acid) which is also toxic. But even the combined toxic effects of glyphosate and AMPA are not sufficient on their own to kill plants. It has been demonstrated numerous times since 1984
Glyphosate with sterile soil (A) only stunts plant growth. In normal soil (B), pathogens kill the plant. Control (C) shows normal growth.
that when glyphosate is applied in sterile soil, the plant may be slightly stunted, but it isn’t killed (see photo).
1.The actual plant assassins, according to Purdue weed scientists and others, are severe disease-causing organisms present in almost all soils. Glyphosate dramatically promotes these, which in turn overrun the weakened crops with deadly infections.
“This is the herbicidal mode of action of glyphosate,” says Don. “It increases susceptibility to disease, suppresses natural disease controls such as beneficial organisms, and promotes virulence of soilborne pathogens at the same time.” In fact, he points out that “If you apply certain fungicides to weeds, it destroys the herbicidal activity of glyphosate!”
By weakening plants and promoting disease, glyphosate opens the door for lots of problems in the field. According to Don, “There are more than 40 diseases of crop plants that are reported to increase with the use of glyphosate, and that number keeps growing as people recognize the association between glyphosate and disease.”
cont.Don Huber spent 35 years as a plant pathologist at Purdue University and knows a lot... more
I will add one more to these: You hurt sales of Round Up and that is one thing we must do to get glyphosate banned to keep future generations healthier. People in Congress need to read these lists and realize their healthcare plans are only half done if they do not consider the effects of pesticides sprayed on food in the equation.
And if you live in a small apartment and don't have the room for a garden, get in touch with your city council or write a letter to your local paper and try to get a CSA started. You may be suprised at the good reaction you receive about it.I will add one more to these: You hurt sales of Round Up and that is one thing we must... more
Despite years of ongoing, critical public health controversies in Colombia and Ecuador over the US-assisted aerial herbicide spraying of coca and poppy crops while trying to reduce illegal cocaine and heroin production, US State Department officials are pursuing that very same spraying strategy.
In fact, last year, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's administration temporarily cast aside the latest of several State Department exhortations to begin massive herbal spraying operations on poppy crops producing heroin there.
Colombian aerosol dusting of a mix of Roundup Ultra, Cosmo-Flux and other plant-penetrating agents began seven years ago. (In 2006 alone, the United Nations reported the spraying of approximately 172,025 hectares of coca crops, producing cocaine. That equals a bit over 664 square miles.)
In the meantime, untold thousands of Colombians and Ecuadorians have become sick from the blended chemical spray. Studies have shown the environmental dangers of inhalation and skin and eye saturation of the floating mist. And critically valuable maize, yucca and plantains have been destroyed in large swaths of the fertile country.
For years, DynCorp International of Fort Worth, Texas, has had the lucrative US multimillion-dollar annual contract for Colombian aerial spraying operations.
The company is being sued in Washington, DC, and US District Court by a class of 3,000 Ecuadorians who claim spray blown over the border from Colombia has sickened them.
"Glyphosate is used all over the world without these kinds of claims," said Gregory Lagana, a DynCorp spokesman. "We spray in Colombia, and there Glyphosate is used extensively. But we don't have any complaints where we spray it and what we do when we spray it. If there are health problems in Ecuador, they are certainly caused by something else." The spray itself, said Lagana, "is prescribed by the governments of Colombia and the United States. Monsanto makes the spray."
Monsanto, the herbicide manufacturer, has from time to time been identified by various Internet sites as the supplier of Roundup Ultra to Colombian spraying operations. But, through spokeswoman Tamara J. Craig Schilling, Monsanto refused to say whether the company is or was a supplier for Colombian spraying. Schilling refused to disclose the differences between regular Roundup and Roundup Ultra. The company claims Roundup is not harmful if instructions on the label are followed. Schilling said a Monsanto official in Mexico referred all such inquiries to the State Department. But, Monsanto also lists an office in Colombia inside its website.
Along with Dow Chemical, Monsanto was one of several US Army suppliers of the infamous Agent Orange, the herbicide used to deforest huge areas of jungle during the Vietnam War. The chemicals were alleged by many in multiple lawsuits to have caused birth defects and cancers among a large population of natives as well as US soldiers and their families.
Despite DynCorp spokesman Lagana's claims that Colombians are not being sickened by the spray, an American Friends service report, as early as 2002, said there were indeed health repercussions in Colombia as well. They cited the Putumayo Health Department report as saying: "Three municipalities targeted by spray campaigns from December 22, 2000, to February 2, 2001, indicated that medical personnel in three local hospitals reported increased visits due to skin problems, gastrointestinal infections, acute respiratory infection, and conjunctivitis following spraying."Despite years of ongoing, critical public health controversies in Colombia and Ecuador... more
Since Argentina's soybean boom in the late 90s, clinical studies have been conducted in communities reporting suspiciously high rates of cancer, birth defects, and neonatal mortality. However, industry leaders also refute these clinical studies, saying they are anecdotal and have little scientific basis. Among a corporate controlled scientific community it is notoriously difficult for clinical studies to "prove" the link between environmental contamination and health results, since life is not a "controlled environment."
In a small town bordering soy farms in the province of Cordoba, the Mothers of Ituzaingo group was formed in response to sudden increases in the local cancer rate. Ituzaingo has 5,000 residents—in 2001 they reported more than 200 cases of cancer and by 2009 that number has jumped to 300. This is 41 times the national average. (I conducted this calculation: the national average or percentage is 0.145 of the population diagnosed with cancer—in this town 6% of the population has cancer.) They have fought for regulations against fumigating soy crops in residential areas and a ban of agrochemicals.
Sofia Gatica is an activist with the Mothers of Ituzaingo. Sofia joined the grassroots group after suffering the death of her newborn baby. Her daughter was still born with a malformed kidney. Her 14-year-old daughter is currently undergoing treatment for toxicity in the blood. The toxin was identified as endosulfan, an insecticide used on soy fields.
Gatica describes the many birth defects that have occurred locally. "We have had children born with only two thumbs and no fingers, malformed kidneys, children with six fingers. We have had babies born without an anus, or with malformations in the intestines."
After years of documenting the tragedies, the Mothers of Itzuaingo decided to take their case to the courts. In 2006, they won their lawsuit in the provincial Supreme Court. Based on their findings the court ruled to prohibit the use of agrochemicals within 1,000 meters of residential areas. The decision applies to the province of Cordoba while in the rest of the country farmers can continue to fumigate with no regulations.
The case of Ituzaingo is not an isolated case. For nearly a decade, communities have reported health problems from aerial and terrestrial fumigation with the arsenal of pesticides and herbicides used in industrial soy farming. And for nearly a decade they have been ignored. "Communities are literally fumigated with planes or with the terrestrial 'mosquito repellant' fumigations (similar to the DEET trucks used to fumigate U.S. neighborhoods in the 50s). Cases of health problems, miscarriages, birth defects, and cancer rates have multiplied at an alarming rate in communities surrounding the soy fields," says Carlos A. Vicente, head of information for Latin America at GRAIN.
The Campesino Movement of Santiago del Estero (MOCASE), a grassroots movement made up of traditional farmers and indigenous groups, has taken more than 100 accusations of agrochemical poisoning to court in Santiago del Estero. The only other case of a judge ruling against the use of herbicides occurred in the northern province of Formosa. The judge, Silvia Amanda Sevilla, was subsequently fired. No other judge in the country has ruled in favor of prohibiting fumigation using glyphosate or other herbicides and pesticides. The courts have either thrown out or ruled against every single claim brought by the plaintiffs. Darío Aranda, a journalist with the national daily, Página/12, has reported on numerous communities in soy-producing regions throughout the country that have faced severe health problems, including residents in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Entre Rios, Chaco, Santa Fe, and Formosa.
Worse yet, research shows that the mostly rural communities that suffer the negative health effects of fumigations have not benefited from the soy explosion.
Much more at the link.Since Argentina's soybean boom in the late 90s, clinical studies have been... more