GM Free Cymru

Health damage associated with GMO crops in Cordoba, Argentina

Date Added to website 11th March 2014

This scientific study confirms what we already know -- that smallholders and farm workers living and working in arears where there are extensive GMO soy plantations suffer ill health. We already know that there are much more abundant birth defects in areas where pesticide applications (mainly Roundup) are made several times a year, in conditions which can only be described as primitive, with few people abiding by the "best practice" guidance and hardly any enforcement od f= standards. So exposure rates are high -- with the following medical conditions investigated: among smallholders and farm workers, occasional or frequent manifestation of irritative symptoms affected 49.3%, fatigue 35.6%, headache 52.6%, nervousness or depression 30.6%, dizziness 13.7% and excessive sweating 16.7%, and 18% had had an accident with pesticides. Among people actually responsible for applying pesticides, there was a high prevalence of symptoms: 47.4% with occasional or frequent irritative symptoms, 35.5% fatigue, 40.4% headache and 27.6% anxiety or depression. The most extraordinary feature of these figures is that almost 50% of all workers associated with crop management and harvesting suffered skin irritation -- and many of those investigated suffered more than one symptom. The most worrying thing to come out of this report is that these are all SHORT-TERM effects -- sadly, we will have to wait and see whether these same workers will contract cancers or other diseases further down the line......... and whether there will be ongoing effects in the next generation. The health tragedy associated with GMO crop growing in Argentina continues to unfold. And will anybody in Europe notice? We doubt it -- the current ploy is simply to say "It's none of our business.......we just buy the soy for feeding to our animals..........."

Pesticides and Agricultural Work Environments in Argentina

by M. Butinof, R. Fernández, M.J. Lantieri, M.I. Stimolo, M. Blanco, A.L. Machado, G. Franchini, M. Gieco, M. Portilla, M. Eandi, A. Sastre and M.P. Diaz

in the volume "Pesticides: Toxic Aspects, Ch 5, p 105

5. Conclusion The evidence presented describes a problem whose complexity is difficult to cover through the usual approaches. Exposure to pesticides in workers responsible for applying these is high. A variety of economic and socio-cultural factors affect exposure and only through a proper evaluation can its true dimension be identified and quantified. The assessment and monitoring of these populations allows us to obtain information about the risk factors associated with occupational exposure and the consequent health damage. Recognizing the complexity of the processes underlying the vulnerability of these populations to pesticide exposure is a first step to significant change in preventive health. Adopting a comprehensive view of the different aspects of the problem will favor the reception of preventive proposals and their chances of application. The exposure reported here seriously conspires against this activity's desired goal of sustainability, creating serious health and environmental risks with costs that are underestimated in the balance of these operating models. From an economic perspective, action to reduce the risks of exposure and adverse effects of the use of pesticides and to contribute to maintaining and improving public health and the quality of life, supports economic development in all sectors of the country, especially in production. Workers and their families improve their quality of life and their family's economy and social security. Companies do not incur high costs of care for acute and chronic intoxication, disability and compensation. Employers benefit from a real decrease in absen‐ teeism and staff turnover, and the country has a more dynamic and competitive work force. Consequently, such action is a factor that strengthens the development of the country.