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Monsanto’s RoundUp Linked to Argentina’s Growing Health Problems
As the use of pesticides continues to increase within the agricultural industry of Argentina, so do the growing health problems for its citizens. Numerous studies link Monsanto’s chemical pesticide, RoundUp, with the multiple health problems, such as birth defects, cancer and thyroid disorders, which plague the country. And with few regulations in place, the misuse of pesticides is running rampant through many rural areas.
Since the introduction of biotechnology into the agricultural industry about a decade ago, a recent report issued by the Associated Press (AP) deciphered a “clear link between the use of pesticides sold by Monsanto and growing health problems in Argentina.” AP discovered that the misuse of RoundUp in Argentina was “unanticipated by regulatory science or specifically banned by existing law.” The pesticide mix, which contains the chemical glyphosate along with other toxins, is to blame for the “drastic increase in health problems,” Dr. Damian Vernassi, a member of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Rosario told the Spanish channel, Actualidad RT.
Glyphosate, a synthetic compound, which is marketed as a safe herbicide by manufacturers, actually poses serious health hazards confirmed by both laboratory and epidemiological studies. Some of the effects include endocrine disruption, DNA damage, cancer, birth defects and neurological disorders, according to the website, EarthOpensource. Not only is the chemical’s residue found on GM crops, it has also been detected in the air, rain and groundwater.
And as the use of RoundUp massively increased over the years, Argentine farmers use nearly “4.5 pounds of pesticide concentrate per acre,” which is double the amount used in the U.S., according to AP. While the introduction of biotechnology has helped Argentina become the third largest producers of soy in the world, all their crops are completely genetically modified. And an increase in health problems has the public pointing their fingers at Monsanto.
The Santa Fe Province—a largely populated province in Argentina—is trying to limit the area where pesticides can be used as a way to protect its citizens. But research conducted by AP showed an absence of enforcement.
The pesticides are contaminating Santa Fe’s water supply and, with an increase in cancer rates, many studies link the health problem to an over use of Monsanto’s RoundUp.
It was also reported that birth defects have quadrupled in Chaco, a nearby province, over the last decade from the sprayed pesticide.
And current regulations are doing nothing to protect the public. According to the website EarthOpensource, “the ‘safe’ dose for RoundUp exposure set by regulators is not based on up-to-date objective evidence.”
Monsanto responded to the report in a written statement saying:
“Monsanto take the stewardship of products seriously and we communicate regularly with our customers regarding proper use of our product. [We] do not condone the misuse of pesticides or the violation of any pesticide law, regulation, or court ruling.”
While no laws, or regulations regarding pesticide use are in place in Argentina, activists and citizens are rallying together to help raise awareness and take action against Monsanto’s RoundUp and the growing health problems the public face.