Death Rates From This Illness Double In Argentina’s GMO Agribusiness Area

by Arjun Walia

Data linking GMOs and pesticides to human health ailments continues to emerge, as a new report put together by the Ministry of Health in Cordoba, Argentina has found that increased levels of crop spraying in Argentina’s most extensively farmed areas has resulted in a large increase of cancer rates for those that live in the vicinity.

According to the report, deaths from cancerous tumors have as much as doubled in areas where genetically modified (GM) crops are grown and agro-chemicals are used. That’s not really surprising, given the fact that numerous studies have linked them to cancer, and other detrimental health ailments.

The highest death rate was recorded in the ‘Pampa Gringa’ area. This is where most GM crops are grown, and the most pesticides are used; it makes up a large portion of the Cordoba region. This area and other areas in the region have cancer rates that are way above the national average.

According to GM watch:

The international standard is to calculate deaths per 100 thousand inhabitants. The provincial average is 158 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, and in Cordoba Capital the rate is 134.8. But four Cordoba departments are well above those rates: Marcos Juárez (229.8), Presidente Roque Sáenz Peña (228.4), Union (217.4) and San Justo (216.8). It’s called “pampa gringa”, the emblematic area of Cordoba agriculture” (source)

Experts from the region continue to stress that this is no coincidence.

There is evidence of high levels of genetic damage in people of Marcos Juarez, which may result from unintentional exposure to pesticides.  – Fernando Manas, PhD National University of Rio Cuarto (source)

According to GM watch, Researchers at Río Cuarto have studied the people of Córdoba for several years and have confirmed, in fifteen scientific publications, that those exposed to pesticides suffer genetic damage and are more prone to cancer. Other studies linked in this article also confirm it. Manas recalled that in the Marcos Juárez province, glyphosate (and its major degradation product, AMPA) have been detected in lakes, soils, and even in rainwater.

This isn’t something new, the toxicity of pesticides has been known for a very long time, and there is more information on that later in the article.

Government and Industry Refuse To Act

According to the ecologist, researchers and doctors in the region have been upset with the government because of their delay and unwillingness to take action.

Dr. Medardo Avila Vazquez of the University Network for Environment and Health (Reduas) said:

What we have complained about for years was confirmed and especially what doctors say about the sprayed towns and areas affected by industrial agriculture. Cancer cases are multiplying as never before in areas with massive use of pesticides. (source) Dr. Medardo Avila Vazquez of the University Network for Environment and Health

Damian Verzeñassi, a doctor and professor of social and environmental health at the Faculty of Medical Sciences in Rosario, says:

The study of Córdoba matches the surveys we conducted in eighteen industrial agriculture areas. Cancer has skyrocketed in the last fifteen years. (source)

He is upset about the failure of government and industry to take preventative action:

They keep demanding studies on something that is already proven and do not take urgent measures to protect the population. There is ample evidence that the agricultural model has health consequences, we are talking about a production model that is a huge public health problem.

The official publication is in book form and titled “Report on cancer in Cordoba 2004-2009.” It was prepared by the Provincial Tumor Registry and the Department of Statistics and Census. It was introduced in the legislature by Martin Alonso, the director of the Provincial Cancer Institute and Francisco Fortuna, the director of the provincial cancer Institute.

Dangers Associated With GMOs and Pesticides (Studies)

Collective Evolution has covered the dangers associated with pesticides and the dangers that could be associated with GMOs in detail. Below you will find links to related articles that have various studies embedded within them. These are a few (of many) related articles you will find on our website:

Sources:  

Arjun Walia writes for Collective Evolution, where this article first appeared.

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