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Genetically-modified soy, Roundup destroying life in South America

Wednesday, July 03, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: Roundup, GM soy, South America

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(NaturalNews) Advocates of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) need only take a close look at the current situation in South America to very quickly learn that corporate biotechnology is simply not working. Not only are GMOs destroying native cultures and the ecosystems its people groups rely on for sustenance, but the technology itself, which is heavily reliant on toxic pesticide chemicals like Roundup (glyphosate), is also killing off the people themselves, including many young children whose systems cannot tolerate heavy doses of life-killing poisons.

In a four-part series compiled by GMWatch.eu, investigative journalist Dario Aranda offers unique insight into what is actually taking place on the ground in South America, and specifically in Argentina where massive GM soy plantations have supplanted the rich biodiversity of yesteryear. Aranda spoke with an everyday mother, a rural doctor, a lawyer, and a community educator about the widespread use of Roundup in Argentina, and each one of these folks offered the same input - glyphosate and the crops it is sprayed on are completely destroying the country.

Glyphosate is killing children

In his first interview, Aranda spoke with a mother whose children were being sickened by sprayings of glyphosate in fields near her neighborhood. Viviana Peralta observed that her newborn daughter Ailen was falling ill every other day or so, and later made the connection to glyphosate. Peralta successfully convinced a local judge that the sprayings were directly responsible for poisoning not only her children but also many others in the area, despite vehement denial from the soy industry, and a mandatory buffer zone was eventually established. But the fight was not easy.

"We've always lived peacefully, but since the soybean production started everything has changed," Peralta is quoted as saying. "We cannot live here anymore. We've been poisoned. I always tell people the same thing. I do not know about chemistry, I did not go to university, but I know what my whole family has suffered. They are living proof that agrochemicals are poisons that affect us. To all people who are not familiar with this model of agriculture, I always say the same thing: Do not trust these companies. Reject agrochemicals. Do it for the life of your children."

Glyphosate is killing adults

Similar sentiments have been expressed by Mariano Aguilar, Executive Director of the Environmental Lawyers Association of Argentina. Aguilar has observed the massive destruction caused by GM crops in Argentina since they were first introduced roughly two decades ago, which has prompted him to call for a nationwide ban on glyphosate. Deformities, miscarriages, skin problems, cancer, and many other diseases have become prominent as a direct result of glyphosate use.

"With this system, there are soybeans grown even on the sides of the roads; this, of course, at the expense of the health and well-being of the nearby residents," says Aguilar. "They've been left with barren land for other enterprises. Under these conditions, in Argentina, we do not know about a 'sustainable model.' We believe it's bread for today and hunger for tomorrow."

Glyphosate is killing everyone

Dr. Dario Gianfelici agrees, having noted during his interview that cancer and fetal deaths have risen dramatically in his town since the introduction of GM soy and glyphosate. Rates of early fetal death and death during delivery skyrocketed in the immediate months and years following the advent of GMOs, and deaths from cancer, even among young people, also rose dramatically, according to Dr. Gianfelici.

"The real problem is chronic poisoning, where symptoms are seen after 10, 15 or 20 years of exposure," says Dr. Gianfelici. "Because of this, no one makes the association between their exposure to agrochemicals, so many years ago, with their infertility, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer or thyroid cancer."

You can read transcripts of all four interviews at the links below this article.

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