Note: An important report by Argentine physicians has just been published in English. It arose from the 1st National Meeting Of Physicians In The Crop-Sprayed Towns, at the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the National University of Cordoba.
The report can be downloaded here (PDF).
It points once again to a big rise in birth defects, up in parallel with expansion of GM Roundup Ready (RR) soy. It also contains a lot of detail about DNA damage, confirming laboratory research on glyphosate and its breakdown product AMPA — and neurological development problems.
…Each year [in Argentina] the amount of Glyphosate per hectare repeatedly sprayed on the same plot of land has increased. This is probably because weeds have become resistant.
In 1996, the sprayings started at less than 2 liters per hectare, whereas today some areas are sprayed with 10 liters per hectare, and almost 20 liters per hectare in other areas.
These poisonous substances are sprayed over extensive territories.
Transgenic crops subject to systematic sprayings cover 22 million hectares located in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Córdoba, Entre Ríos, Santiago del Estero, San Luis, Chaco, Salta, Jujuy, Tucumán, La Pampa and Corrientes.
According to geographers from the UNC, at least 12 million people live in towns surrounded by crops that may be found in these vast territories, and that figure does not include the population from large cities in each of these provinces. Twelve million Argentineans are directly sprayed. This means that a sufficient amount of those 300 million liters of agrotoxics are sprayed on houses, schools, parks, water sources, sports fields, and work areas. In other words, on their lives.
This population is treated by physicians working in the crop-sprayed towns, where we notice an alarming increase of cancer, birth defects and reproductive disorders which cannot be concealed anymore. This undisputed reality is revealed, for example, in the geo-reference made in 2005 by the mothers in Córdoba’s Ituzaingó neighborhood and its local government primary care team about the cases in this neighborhood where, among other pollutants, agrochemicals played a relevant role.
We question the current agro-industrial and transgenic production model. There are other options for agro-ecological production that the State University should promote and develop. It is necessary to research, select, and agree to production systems that allow for social and cultural integration, defending and reproducing our environment’s ecological conditions.
…In the Province of Chaco, it is now officially recognized what the residents have been claiming for many years: That the work activity with agrochemicals or its residential exposure (by vicinity) is linked to reproductive problems, repeated miscarriages and serious birth defects, such as the series of birth defect cases where mothers have a history of direct exposure to pesticides, which were collected by Dr. Horacio Lucero, Head of the Molecular Biology Laboratory of the Institute of Regional Medicine of the Universidad Nacional del Nordeste (National Northeastern University), who has been registering and studying them for over 10 years. His observations have been completely confirmed. The rate of birth defects in 10,000 live births showed a significant increase in recent years.
In recent years, soybean planting has been implemented in Chaco superseding other traditional activities of their regional economy. Companies making up agricultural conglomerates, which now own large extensions of public land, were established. It is noticeable how the increase of soybean planting in Chaco matches the growing number of congenital birth defects (Graph No. 1).
This link is also strengthened when seeing the death map due to Q causes (birth defects, chromosome anomalies, and deformities) which more significantly impacts soybean areas and La Leonesa, both areas exposed to a high level of glyphosate and other pesticide usage (Map No. 1)…
Map No. 1: Childhood mortality due to Q causes (Congenital birth defects)
Read the full report here (PDF).