By Paulo Emanuel Lopes
From a campaign that sought to highlight the innovation capacity of Argentine science, former president Cristina Kirchner announced in October this year the approval of this new variety of soybean, resistant to drought, and of the aforementioned potato . The studies were conducted by the Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL), in conjunction with the national company Indear [Institute of Agrobiotechnology of Rosario], a Research and Development company of the Bioceres Group, whose main shareholders are the Argentine businessman Gustavo Grobocopatel, known as "King of soybeans".
In April this year, the government approved the commercialization of a soybean that is tolerant to the pesticides glyphosate, glufosinate ammonium and 2,4D herbicide. It should be noted that this 2,4D, marketed by the multinational Dow AgroSciences, was used in the so-called "agent orange", a chemical weapon used by the United States government in the Vietnam War to defoliate trees, and that it caused a series of devastating effects on the health of the civilian population.
The stimulus of a model that compromises the health of the population
The complaint of the movements is that, in addition to the damage that genetically altered seeds can cause to the health of the population, still not fully known, the use of such seeds stimulates a development model based on the use of pesticides on a wide scale in the plantations.
Glyphosate, it should be noted, has already been confirmed by the World Health Organization as a carcinogenic substance. http://site.adital.com.br/site/noticia.php?lang=PT&cod=84585
The use of these "agricultural defenses", according to the language adopted by the companies in the sector, may be poisoning the diet of the consuming population, in addition to seriously compromising the health of the farmers who handle such products and of the families that live in the around the plantations This is an estimated population of 12 million people.
The groups of Doctors of Fumigated Towns and Lawyers of Fumigated Towns seek to make the population aware of the risks of such defenses, and legally establish areas of prohibition of fumigations near inhabited areas.
During the 3rd Congress of Physicians of Fumigated Towns, which took place at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires, the problem reached Argentine society. On the occasion of the Congress, the demand of these populations was taken to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the United Nations (UN), http://www.biodiversidadla.org/ so that the Argentine State be forced to that "urgently adopt effective measures to keep the health and life of children and adolescents living in the country safe from direct and indirect exposure to pesticides (...) as well as from the consumption of food with residues thereof ”.
For Renace (Argentine National Ecological Action Network), there are a series of consequences that may occur from the introduction of these new seeds, such as increased dependence on global markets; expansion of the agricultural frontier, which encourages the expulsion of small farmers and indigenous peoples; loss of biodiversity of seeds; among others.
There is also the suspicion that, as happened with RR soybeans (Round up Ready, tolerant to Monsanto's Round-up herbicide), these new genetic varieties are advancing on neighboring countries such as Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil, without control of the organs responsible.
With information from Grain: www.grain.org/es