Argentina Agrochemicals Linked To Health Problems
Argentina's agricultural industry has been dramatically transformed by the introduction of genetically modified plants in 1996. Doctors and scientist worry the chemicals may be the cause of rising cancer rates, birth defects and other health problems.
In this March 31, 2013, photo, Erika, left, and her twin sister Macarena, who suffer from chronic respiratory illness, play in their backyard near recycled agrochemical containers filled with water that is used for flushing their toilet, feeding their chickens and washing their clothes, near the town of Avia Terai, in Chaco province, Argentina. The twins' mother, Claudia Sariski, whose home has no running water, says she doesn't let her children drink the water from the discarded pesticide containers. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
In this March 31, 2013, photo, Camila Veron, 2, born with multiple organ problems and severely disabled, stands outside her home in Avia Terai, in Chaco province, Argentina. Doctors told Camila's mother, Silvia Achaval that agrochemicals may be to blame. It's nearly impossible to prove that exposure to a specific chemical caused an individual's cancer or birth defect, but doctors say these cases merit a rigorous government investigation. "They told me that the water made this happen, because they spray a lot of poison here," said Achaval. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
In this May 2, 2013 photo, empty agrochemical containers including Monsanto's Roundup products lay discarded at a recycling center in Quimili, Santiago del Estero province, Argentina. Instead of a lighter chemical burden in Argentina, agrochemical spraying has increased eightfold, from 9 million gallons in 1990 to 84 million gallons today. Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup products, is used roughly eight to ten times more per acre than in the United States. Yet Argentina doesnt apply national standards for farm chemicals, leaving rule-making to the provinces and enforcement to the municipalities. The result is a hodgepodge of widely ignored regulations that leave people dangerously exposed. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
In this Sept. 25, 2013, photo, a protest sign directed to Argentine President Cristina Fernandez and Cordoba Province governor Jose Manuel de la Sota that reads in Spanish; "Stop looting and contaminating! Monsanto out of Cordoba and Argentina," is posted on a fence where Monsanto is building its largest seed production plant in Latin America in the town of Malvinas Argentinas, in Cordoba province, Argentina. The country's entire soybean crop and nearly all its corn and cotton have been genetically modified in the 17 years since St. Louis-based Monsanto Company promised huge yields with fewer pesticides using its patented seeds and chemicals. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
In this Sept. 23, 2013, photo, empty pesticide containers ready for recycling are collected inside an enclosure by the farming business association in Gualeguaychu, in Entre Rios province, Argentina. Widely ignored Argentine health minister guidelines recommend perforating empty containers to prevent reuse by residents. The association says the containers will be recycled into plastic tubing. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
In this April 16, 2013, photo, Felix San Roman walks on his property in Rawson, in Buenos Aires province, Argentina. San Roman says that when he complained about clouds of chemicals drifting into his yard, the sprayers beat him up, fracturing his spine and knocking out his teeth. "This is a small town where nobody confronts anyone, and the authorities look the other way," San Roman said. "All I want is for them to follow the existing law, which says you cant do this within 1,500 meters. Nobody follows this. How can you control it?" (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)