Eco-warriors battle glyphosate in Argentine countryside

phys.org | 7/9/2018 | Staff
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"They can't spray!" screamed Sofia Gatica, waving her arms before police led her away from the soybean field, handcuffed for having illegally entered private property.

Gatica had been protesting against the use of a herbicide in the field in the village of Dique Chico, in Argentina's Cordoba province.

Place - Residents - Farmers - Spraying - Glyphosate

It's a place where local residents clash regularly with farmers over the spraying of glyphosate on genetically modified crops.

Glyphosate is a herbicide developed by the controversial agrochemical company Monsanto—which ceased to exist last month after it was bought by Bayer—that has been described by the World Health Organization as "probably carcinogenic."

Plantations - Argentina - End - Place - Livestock

These genetically modified plantations first appeared in Argentina at the end of the 1990s in place of livestock.

At the end of June, 18 million hectares (44 million acres) had been planted, producing 35.8 million metric tons (39.4 million tons) and making Argentina the third biggest such producer in the world behind the United States and Brazil.

Millions - Liters - Glyphosate - Plantations

But millions of liters of glyphosate are poured onto those plantations.

Pressured by local residents, and without specific legislation, village mayors have delivered their own regulations to control the spraying, as much to limit their scope as to control the amount of toxins in herbicides.

Regulations - Farmers - Conflict

But those regulations have been appealed by farmers, occasionally successfully, thus fueling the conflict.

"On the one hand there are constitutional rights, like the right to engage in legal industry, which is what the agricultural producer usually argues. But on the other side, there are other rights: to live in a healthy environment, the right to good health and life," said environmental attorney Dario Avila.

Terms - Pesticides - Argentina - Laws - Country

"In terms of pesticides in Argentina, there are no national laws that apply to the whole country. These rules are reserved for the provincial governments."

'My children die'

Gatica - Cross

As for Gatica, she bears a heavy cross.

"I entered a property to stop the spraying which enters...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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