Agustina Larrea – ‘Experts call Latin America ‘the world’s scrapyard for pesticides’

Although agrochemical products, pesticides and genetically modified crops are today part of everyday life for those who live in the countryside, they are relatively new in Argentina. Very few people, apart from enviromental activists, question their use. Yet the consequences — in both the short and the long term — of their impact on the health of those living near lands fumigated daily, with products that are forbidden in many countries around the world, are already beginning to emerge.

After years of spralling, obsessive and sometimes overwhelming investigation, journalist Fernanda Sández — in her recent book, La Argentina fumigada — lays bare the links that tie that food industry and agrochemical use to pollution, via insufficient state control, and the increasing numbers of deaths from new diseases as a result of using pesticides.

Conducting her research, Sández visited what she calls “the sprayed small towns” in agricultural provinces such as Entre Ríos, Santa Fe, Chaco and Córdoba, where she listened to alarming testimonies from people struggling in a battle that, as she says, “seems to already be lost but is still worth fighting for.”

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