Dangerous pollution in ARGENTINE campo ?


Mar 25, 2007
The following article published in Friday's BA HERALD reveals some disturbing news about dangerous pollution coming from deadly pesticides being used by Argentine farmers. Here is the link with some highlights following:


"The massive use of pesticides on fields of soy, the country’s top export, is creating a 'health catastrophe' in the rural sector, environmentalists warn.
A report by the Rural Reflection Group (GRR), a local environmental organisation, points to an increase in health problems in the countryside, such as cases of cancer at early ages, birth defects, lupus, kidney problems, respiratory ailments and dermatitis, based on the accounts of rural doctors, experts and the residents of dozens of farming towns."

"Soybean fields have replaced the protective green belts that traditionally surrounded rural towns, consisting of family gardens, dairy and small livestock farms, and fruit orchards, leaving local populations exposed to the damages of aerial spraying, says the study".

"Agronomist Alida Gallardo, an organic farmer in the Buenos Aires province town of Trenque Lauquen, said the problem in that area is 'extremely serious.' "

"Thirty years ago, living in the countryside was synonymous with healthy living, but now 'it is suicidal', said Mario Córcora from Junín, a city in the northern part of Buenos Aires province, which has been heavily affected by glyphosate spraying."

"A study by the Italiano Garibaldi Hospital in Rosario showed that in six towns in the region, the incidence of testicular and gastric cancer in males was three times higher than the national average; the incidence of liver cancer was 10 times higher; and the number of cases of pancreas and lung cancer was two times higher."

"Today, someone like Che Guevara would find it impossible to live in Alta Gracia, once known as a retreat for people with respiratory ailments, for its dry climate and fresh air".

"In Basavilbaso, in the northeastern province of Entre Ríos, 43-year-old Fabián Tomasi, who used to work spraying crops, has lost muscle mass and suffers from infections in the joints, skin problems, and digestive and respiratory ailments that force him to sleep sitting up. None of his health problems have been traced to any factor other than exposure to toxic agrochemicals.

Another case that has been studied in the same province is that of the Portillo family in the village of Costa Las Masitas. The father, Walter, is in a wheelchair because of nerve damage. One of his sons died at the age of eight after suffering fever, vomiting and headaches. Two of the boy’s young cousins also died."
I was following a 100% raw fruit and veg diet for the past two months. During this period & despite washing everything v. v. carefully, I had no less than 4 bouts of severe vomiting & diarrhea and as a result lost 5 kilos in weight (was underweight).
I had to revert to cooked foods to cure myself. My husband was convinced it was a pesticide allergy so I'm not surprised by this news...
Sadly this doesn't surprise me...it all boils down to greed and money! I am sure there are no regulations and even if there are who is going to enforce it?? Like enforcing the motorcycle helmet law...stopping at stop signs....speeding.....happens for a while and then goes away. Unless someone or some group shouts loud and long it won't change.
I hope I am wrong...
People say that Governments should not control the farming sector but then you have cases like this where many people are dying from diseases due to farming methods that are completely unnatural to mother earth.

Soy farming has caused more harm than its worth not only to the land but also to the people . We have lost huge tracts of virgin forest that have been cleared for soy farming . Argentina is a very green country but will lose this if there are no checks or balances.

Christina has been critisized by her decisions to heavily tax soy and also now control the farming sector. I am one that has agreed with her as the land must be protected for many generations to come .
It's sad to read that the campo is polluted by the irresponsible use of pesticides, just as it is sad to hear that feedlots are replacing grass feeding of cows. In the US I used to buy a lot of my food from the Amish. They continue to farm in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, some other parts of the US and Canada as they did in the 1600's and 1700's. Famous for wearing antique style clothes and for their pacifist religious principles, the Amish are amazing farmers. The most traditional of the community will not use electricity. They farm the old fashioned way using man and horsepower. The fresh food they produce is natural and wholesome. Their faith guides their lives and they are completely honest and decent people who respect nature and the environment.