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Cancer Rates Higher Where GM Crops and Chemicals are Used
Agricultural areas that grow GM crops and see a heavy use of pesticides, have a death rate due to cancer that is twice as high as the national average. This repot comes from the Ministry of Health of Cordoba Province in Argentina.
Medardo Avila Vazquez of the University Network for Environmental and Health says that even though they had complained for years, it fell on deaf ears and now, it’s been confirmed through a study. Cancer cases are increasing like never before in areas where they use massive amounts of pesticides.
Data on cancerous tumors and death rates between the years of 2004 and 2009 were analyzed by the Provincial Tumour Registry as well as the Department of Statistics and Census, noted that the highest rates of deaths from cancer occurred in the area that is commonly called “pampa gringa”, which also happens to be the area with the heaviest use of agrochemicals and GM crops. Read more about easy ways to avoid GMO foods.
Argentina’s death rate due to cancer is 115 per 100,000, according to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on cancer. However, the Cordoba report showed that the average death rate from cancer for this province was much higher at 134 in the capital city of Cordoba and 158 in the province as a whole. When you examine the departments in pampa gringa on their own merits, the rates went through the roof: 216 for San Justo, 217 for Union, 228 for Presidente Roque Saenz Pena, and 229 for Marcos Juarez.
Residents in Cordoba as well as public health advocates feel this report is a vindication of what they have saying all along; that cancer rates have been climbing in the region for the past 15 years.
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It’s interesting to note that this governmental report did not emphasize the finding of exceptionally high cancer death rates in agricultural areas, instead, the report focused on analyzing new cases of cancer by age, sex, and region, and then comparing those rates with other countries.
Health advocates, however, immediately saw the connection between these dangerous agricultural chemicals and demanded that the government take action to protect its citizens.
Fernando Manas of the National University of Rio Cuarto stated that there was plenty of evidence to show that there was a high level of genetic damage in the residents of Marcos Juarez, which possibly results of an unintentional exposure to pesticides.
The lakes, rainwater, and soil in the Marcos’ Juarez area have been found to be contaminated with the herbicide glyphosate, also known as “RoundUp”, according to Manas. Researchers at Rio Cuarto have been conducting studies over the past 8 years and have published as many as 15 papers confirming that the residents of Cordoba, who have been exposed to these pesticides, suffer from everything from higher incidences of cancer as well as genetic damage.
However, the government and industry have tried to obscure the link between these agrochemicals and the development of cancer. Many feel that there is already more than enough evidence that these heavily sprayed areas have severe consequences.
Still another researcher, this time from the University Network for Environment and health, Avila Vazquez, agreed with the criticism of the government and called for the immediate implementation of steps to stop all aerial spraying, to keep the application of chemicals at least one kilometer from homes and to ban the storage of all agrochemical and spraying of these chemical pesticides and herbicides in and around urban areas.
Vazquez states that tobacco companies denied the obvious connection between smoking and various cancers, and it took decades for governments to finally admit the truth. The agrochemical and biotech corporations are acting the same as the tobacco industry did years ago; they lie and favor the profits of their businesses over the health of the population.
The official publication can be found in a book form. Its complete title is “Report on Cancer in Cordoba 2004-2009.” This was created by the Provincial Tumor Registry, along with the Department of Statistics and Census.