|El costo humano de los agrotóxicos (The human cost of agrotoxins) by Pablo Piovano.|
Buenes Aires Herald
The image of Lucas Techeira — a three-year old boy from Misiones with a skin disease caused by his mother being exposed to glyphosate during the pregnancy — is one of the 300 photographs showcased in the annual exhibit of the Argentine Photojournalists Association (Argra), which opened on Tuesday and can be visited from Tuesday through Sunday until August 17.
Techeira’s picture, included on the catalogue’s back cover, was taken by Página/12 photojournalist Pablo Piovano, who published a photo essay called The human cost of agrotoxins after touring many of the provinces where such chemicals are regularly being used. The essay received many local and international awards and some of its photographs were included in the Argra exhibit, which has been an annual event since 1981.
A contentious debate is growing in farming communities across the country as a growing number of environmental and social groups are calling for an outright ban on the herbicide glyphosate, which has been used on the country’s crops for years, after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a probable carcinogen.
Glyphosate is used on more than 28 million hectares in Argentina, which are sprayed with about 200 million litres of glyphosate per year, according to the Doctors Network of Fumigated Towns. Even though Monsanto holds more than 30 percent of the market, it is hardly alone. Syngenta, BASF, Bayer, Dupont, Dow, Agrosciences, Atanor, YPF and Nidera also produce the herbicide.
The late Andrés Carrasco, an Argentine doctor and Conicet (state research centre) head, confirmed in 2009 that glyphosate is highly toxic and has serious effects on embryos. Intestinal and cardiac disorders, malformations and neurological damage are some of the problems caused by the herbicide, his research showed.
Recent reports have backed Carrasco’s investigation. Río Cuarto University, for example, showed evidence of children suffering genetic damage from living near crops sprayed with glyphosate. That damage made those children more susceptible to a variety of diseases, including leukemia. Similar genetic damage was reported on agricultural workers exposed to the herbicide, according to an investigation by Mendoza’s Juan Agustín Maza University.
One out of three people living in towns near crops sprayed with glyphosate die because of cancer, according to data collected by the Doctors Network of Fumigated Towns. For example, in San Salvador, a small town Entre Ríos, the population collected information showing that almost half of all the deaths there in recent years have been due to cancer, far higher than the national average of 18 percent.
These attrocities against human kind have to stop! Why people? Why are we allowing this to be done to us?! What is it going to take before you will act? React? Get active? Get talking?
Do you not value your life? Your health? The environment? I am asking because it's dire.
Directly related to this image and post:
From earlier today: