A group of environmental lawyers has petitioned the Supreme Court to impose a six-month ban on the sale and use of glyphosate, which is the basis for many herbicides, including the US agribusiness giant Monsanto’s Roundup product.My, that’s rather apocalyptic!
A ban, if approved, would mean “we couldn’t do agriculture in Argentina”, said Guillermo Cal, executive director of CASAFE, Argentina’s association of fertiliser companies.
And financially even worse:
Any ban on the use of glyphosate could have dire fiscal consequences: the already cash-strapped Argentine government relies heavily on tariffs levied on agricultural exports. It is expected to rake in some $5bn this year, although that is about half the previous year’s level after a longrunning conflict with farmers, a bitter drought and lower prices have slashed production of the country’s main cash crop, soya.Or is it?
Mr Carrasco acknowledged there were “too many economic interests at stake” to ban glyphosate outright. But, he said, officials could start ring-fencing the problem by enforcing effective controls where crops are sprayed.That would be a start. Working on other methods of weed and insect control would be even better.
The Financial Times does mention that there are Argentine studies that support Dr. Carrasco’s as-yet-unpublished study:
Research by other Argentine scientists and evidence from local campaigners has indicated a high incidence of birth defects and cancers in people living near crop-spraying areas. One study conducted by a doctor, Rodolfo Páramo, in the northern farming province of Santa Fé reported 12 malformations per 250 births, well above the normal rate.Yet the Financial Times did not mention the numerous scientific studies in other countries that show similar results.
Monsanto is worldwide, after all.