By Dario Aranda
This second interview is with Mariano Aguilar, executive director of the Environmental Lawyers Association of Argentina, which is petitioning the Argentine government for a ban on glyphosate.
In the interview, Aguilar addresses claims by industry-backed bodies such as the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) that the GM Roundup Ready soy model of farming is “sustainable”.
Buenos Aires, Argentina. Executive Director of the Environmental Lawyers Association of Argentina. Asociación de Abogados Ambientalistas de Argentina (Aadeaa) – www.aadeaa.org.ar
Interview by Dario Aranda
“Our work with organizations and communities affected by the cultivation of genetically modified soybeans and spraying of glyphosate has certainly shown negative effects from a socio-environmental standpoint. The communities surrounding the areas of agricultural production are – in all cases – affected by the so-called agrochemicals, which should actually be called agro-toxins (pesticides). They produce adverse and harmful effects on all forms of life, including humans. We found a great deal of damage from the spraying of glyphosate, which is part of the technology package sold by the majority of multinational companies, such as Monsanto. These companies sell soybean seeds and, at the same time, sell the glyphosate, which kills everything except the seed. It is a lethal poison to everything that is not soy.
“Fifteen years after the arrival of genetically modified soy to Argentina, we can make an assessment and take stock of the consequences. There is, without a doubt, negative environmental impact. We have soybean monoculture throughout the country. This is a product of the technological package provided by the multinational firms, of which we are totally dependent. The land does not allow any other crop. Any possibility of cultivating any other crop different from soy, specifically that particular seed, has been exhausted. The picture is of dependency and there are very few ways out of it.
“From the economic point of view, it is an extremely good business. With this system, there are soybeans grown even on the sides of the roads; this, of course, at the expense of the health and well-being of the nearby residents. They’ve been left with barren land for other enterprises. Under these conditions, in Argentina, we do not know about a ‘sustainable model’. We believe it’s bread for today and hunger for tomorrow. We’re leaving the ground barren for the future. There is real evidence of that.
Read full interview at GM Watch