1."Mothers of Ituzaingó" tour Spain to fight against GM soy and
2.Fatal Soya – The Mothers of Ituzaingó
NOTE: Background Report: Soy cultivation in Argentina: a reference case
1."Mothers of Ituzaingó" tour Spain to fight against GM soy and glyphosate
19 September 2012
During the past three days, Goldman Environmental Prize winner SofÃa Gatica and Maria Godoy, both Argentinian activists and members of the group "Mothers of Ituzaingó", have been travelling across Spain to expose the dangers of the cultivation of genetically modified soya and the use of glyphosate. Argentina is one of the biggest soy exporters in the world.
They warned Spanish citizens – Spain being the first GM producer in the EU – that if herbicide-tolerant GM soya were cultivated in Spain, the social and environmental consequences would be unforseeable and irreversible. The events in Spain are part of a speakers tour across Europe which will end in Brussels, where Sofia and Maria will join the Good Food March today. In conferences and meetings with local groups in Córdoba, Madrid, Zaragoza and Barcelona, as well as through a wide range of media interviews, the two activists described the adverse health effects which Monsanto's Roundup Ready soy has caused in their neighbourhood Ituzaingó near Córdoba resulting in a high number of cancer, malformations and miscarriages.
In the Spanish city of Córdoba, around 80 people, amongst them farmers, neighbours and members of NGOs and organic consumption groups, gathered in the Orive Gardens and discussed strategies on how to avoid the cultivation of GM crops in Spain and worldwide. Sofia and Maria told the audience about the recent court sentence, which found one soy farmer and a pilot of a spraying plane guilty of contaminating the area. On Tuesday, coinciding with the international day against Monsanto, Sofia and Maria held a panel discussion in Zaragoza.
Farmers, agricultural engineers, consumers organisations and local citizens discussed the GM situation in the region of Aragón and the lack of a GMO free label in Spain. In Barcelona, more than 60 people came to hear the two activists, who called for a ban on GM soy into the EU. The discussion focussed on the lack of independent research regarding the health effects of GM crops and pesticide use.
2.Fatal Soya – The Mothers of Ituzaingó
Ever since her daughter died from kidney malformation, just three days after she was born, Sofia Gatica has been fighting against the aircraft spraying of Monsanto's Roundup (Glyphosate) on Argentina's soybean fields.
In her district of Ituzaingó in Cordoba, this takes considerable courage. Despite threatening visits from the ‘Pistoleros’ who try to stop them documenting just how many miscarriages, birth defects and cancer cases have occurred in the neighbourhood, Sofia Gatica remains persistent. Along with other concerned mothers, she has proved that the numbers are in fact many times the national average. Resistance is now beginning to stir in other communities. For the first time, two agricultural companies and an aircraft operator have been brought to court for violating security rules. Ultimately what the ‘Mothers of Ituzaingó’ want to see is the introduction of a total ban. Their experiences are consistent with scientific studies carried out in Argentina and in France which confirm that Glyphosate is toxic for embryos.
In Europe, alarming concentrations of Glyphosate can be detected in the urine of citizens. Its use is being increasing associated with problems in animal husbandry. Nonetheless, the safety review of the world's best-selling herbicide that is due in Europe has been postponed by three years, and the maximum allowable quantities of the plant toxin in feed and food have been increased.
The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) has also positively evaluated an application by Monsanto to cultivate Roundup-ready GM soya in the EU, stating that the genetic modification of plants presents no additional health or environmental hazards. The impact of the system of herbicides and genetically engineered plants as a whole remains unevaluated.
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