Agrotoxics spraying banned in Santa Fe, Argentina - Landmark legal case
We've done our best to summarize in English the gist of this important article, published in Spanish, but would be very grateful for a competent English translation.
For more about Viviana Peralta, the housewife mentioned in the Spanish article, who initiated a previous court action to stop the spraying after her family were made ill, see
Pesticides-free zone in Santa Fe
Pagina12, 26 Feb 2011
Full article in Spanish:
EDITED EXCERPTS ONLY
The judiciary of the province of Santa Fe, Argentina has banned the spraying of agrochemicals in the vicinity of urban areas. The case sets a precedent for judges elsewhere in the country and establishes a legal basis for questioning the GM soy/agrochemical spray agricultural model.
The decision comes after two years of legal dispute, during which first and second instance judges questioned and limited the use of agrochemicals. The Santa Fe court strictly bans spraying in Urquiza neighborhood near the town of San Jorge. It is the first case in Argentina where a Court has made a firm decision to prohibit the spraying to protect health.
The court ruling signals justice for hundreds of complaints across the country. It invokes the precautionary principle (which states that lack of information or scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent harm to health or the environment), and questions glyphosate (pillar of the GM soy crop) and the chemical-based agricultural model. The decision is expected to open the door to hundreds of new court filings for people affected by spraying.
Carlos Manessi, president of the NGO Cepronat, which joined the sprayed people in the lawsuit, said, "After years of complaints, and being treated as crazy, the court has confirmed that the sprayed villagers are right. With this precedent, we will ask the same prohibition in the 300 affected villages in the province."
Manessi said, "It is not only glyphosate [that is the problem], but the agricultural model with health and social consequences." He added, "the use of pesticides in Argentina is authorized based on the 'studies' of the companies themselves, and not on independent research. When you carry out a serious review of scientific studies that were not purchased, they support fair decisions, such as that taken by the court of San Jorge."