For connected articles and a lot more data, please check out OCA’s Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page.
For a lot of the previous decade Argentina has observed a commodities-driven export boom, built largely on genetically-modified soy bean crops and the aggressive use of pesticides.
Argentina’s leaders say it has turned the country’s economy around, although other folks say the consequences are a dramatic surge in cancer rates, birth defects and land theft.
Folks & Power investigates if Argentina’s booming soy business is a disaster in the making.
As I flew in to Buenos Aires to make this film, all the speak was of President Cristina Kirchner’s most current gambit. Her foreign minister had pulled out of a meeting with the British foreign secretary to go over the Falklands (or the Malvinas depending on your outlook). And for the individuals I rubbed up against in Argentina’s sensible and chic capital, on discovering I was English, this, along with Maradona’s ‘hand of god’ moment, was the subject on everybody’s lips. “We won the war”, they would say. “Following the fighting we got rid of our dictators but you had one more ten years of Thatcher.”
When I explained I was in the nation to cover the soya boom, which has given Argentina the quickest growth rate in South America, but also allegedly brought on devastating malformations in youngsters, there was a look of disbelief. “Here, in Argentina? Why have not we heard about it?”
A very good question: why had not any person heard about it? And when I ventured a little additional explaining I also wanted to cover what is best described as a dirty war in the North of the country where Campesinos are being driven off their land, and often killed, to make way for soya plantations – the bemusement increased. “That’s historical” individuals would say, “it really is been going on given that the time of the conquistadors.” So when I arrived with my crew at Argentina’s second city, Cordoba, 700 kilometers North West of the capital, to meet Option Nobel Laureate Professor Raul Montenegro, I was not very certain what to expect.
Montenegro, a globe-renowned biologist, looked the part of a pioneer, in khaki shirt and jungle boots. “I have pesticide in me”, he mentioned, practically as soon as he opened the door. “Right here we all have pesticide in our bodies since the land is saturated with it. And it is a huge difficulty. In Argentina biodiversity is diminishing. Even in national parks, since pesticides never recognize the limit of the park.” Montenegro is a man in a hurry. “You have to see for oneself”, he stated pointing to his Land Rover and taking us a quick drive out of Cordoba to a slight rise in the vast plain which surrounds the city. Right here, as far as the eye can see, endless acres of soya stretched to the horizon. “A lot more than 18 million hectares are covered by this GMO soya but it really is not solely a matter of soya because over this plant on this enormous surface much more than 300 million litres of pesticide are used.”