Ban on glyphosate spraying near town in Argentina

Posted on 19 Marzec 2010. Filed under: gmo, gmo szajs, Niebezpieczne, Prawo, Urzędy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


Thursday, 18 March 2010 15:18

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EXTRACT: The court found that farmers „have been indiscriminately using agrochemicals such as glyphosate, applied in open violation of existing laws [causing] severe damage to the environment and to the health and quality of life of the residents.”

While the decision is limited to the area around San Jorge, other courts in the farming province are likely to follow suit if residents seek similar court action.


Argentina Court Blocks Agrochemical Spraying Near Rural Town
Shane Romig
Dow Jones Newswires, March 17 2010
http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/stock-market-news-story.aspx?storyid=201003171558dowjonesdjonline000680&title=argentina-court-blocks-agrochemical-spraying-near-rural-town
http://bit.ly/cg2AgG

BUENOS AIRES -(Dow Jones)- In a ruling bearing potentially far-reaching implications, an appellate court in Argentina’s Santa Fe province this week upheld a decision blocking farmers from spraying agrochemicals near populated areas.

The ruling blocks the use of chemicals such as the widely used herbicide glyphosate within 800 meters of the town of San Jorge, and aerial spraying within 1,500 meters of the town.

While the decision is limited to the area around San Jorge, other courts in the farming province are likely to follow suit if residents seek similar court action.

The court found that farmers „have been indiscriminately using agrochemicals such as glyphosate, applied in open violation of existing laws [causing] severe damage to the environment and to the health and quality of life of the residents.”

A backlash is building in the country against the increasing reliance on transgenic soybeans and the herbicide widely used in their cultivation. Soybeans dominate the country’s farm output, but growing concern over the environmental impact of soybean-cultivation practices has spurred a legal and legislative assault.

Last year, the Argentine Association of Environmental Lawyers filed a case at the Supreme Court to halt the use of glyphosate, which virtually all of the soybeans grown in Argentina have been genetically modified to resist. Up to 200 million liters of the herbicide are sprayed across the farm belt each season. The court has yet to decide on whether to hear the case.

Genetically modified soybeans resistant to glyphosate were introduced to Argentina in 1996 by St. Louis-based biotech giant Monsanto Co. (MON). Now, with over half of all cultivated land going to soy in the last season, virtually all of the soybeans grown in Argentina uses Monsanto’s technology. Monsanto didn’t return a call seeking comment.

The spread of the transgenic beans has led to an unprecedented boom in farm wealth but also brought a host of ills, including soil deterioration and wide- scale deforestation to open up new fields.

While environmentalists have long decried the shift to soy monoculture, opposition heated up last year when an unpublished study conducted by the University of Buenos Aires Institute of Cellular Biology and Neuroscience Molecular Embryology Lab found that very low doses of glyphosate caused mutations in amphibian embryos.

While glyphosate has been used for 30 years and is approved in more than 100 countries, the defense minister prohibited growing transgenic soybeans on army farms with residential compounds, in the wake of the report. In addition, a number of local districts have banned or limited the use of glyphosate around populated areas, and some provinces also are debating legislation to prohibit or limit its use.

Argentina is the world’s leading exporter of soymeal and oil and the third- largest exporter of soybeans. The legume is the country’s largest export product and a key source of export-tax revenue.

Despite criticism of the excessive reliance on soybeans from President Cristina Fernandez, the government has encouraged the continued shift toward soy by imposing export limits and price controls on other goods such as wheat, corn and beef to keep local food prices down. With virtually no domestic demand for soybeans, their pricing and exports have been left untouched, prompting farmers to plant more beans.

-By Shane Romig, Dow Jones Newswires; 54-11-4103-6738; shane.romig@ dowjones.com

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