Brazil’s Pesticide Applications May Be Doing More Harm Than Good

ZikaSpraying8Here is the actual report by a group of Argentine physicians that warns of hazards associated with chemical pesticide applications:

Report From Physicians In The Crop-sprayed Villages Regarding Dengue-Zika, Microcephaly, And Mass-Spraying With Chemical Poisons, Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns (PCST), 3 February 2016

Main Points (quoted from the report):

  1. Dengue epidemic in Brazil persists endemically (on an ongoing basis) due to the marginalisation and misery of millions of people, especially in Northeast Brazil. On top of that, Zika virus, a similar disease although more benign, is now spreading.
  2. A dramatic increase of congenital malformations, especially microcephaly in newborns, was detected and quickly linked to the Zika virus by the Brazilian Ministry of Health. However, they fail to recognise that in the area where most sick persons live, a chemical larvicide producing malformations in mosquitoes has been applied for 18 months, and that this poison (pyroproxyfen) is applied by the State on drinking water used by the affected population.
  3. Previous Zika epidemics did not cause birth defects in newborns, despite infecting 75% of the population in those countries. Also, in other countries such as Colombia there are no records of microcephaly; however, there are plenty of Zika cases.
  4. The pyroproxyfen being used (as recommended by WHO) is manufactured by Sumimoto Chemical, a Japanese subsidiary of Monsanto.
  5. Brazilian doctors (Abrasco) are claiming that the strategy of chemical control is contaminating the environment as well as people, that it is not decreasing the amount of mosquitoes, and that this strategy is in fact a commercial manoeuvre from the chemical poisons industry, deeply integrated into Latin American ministries of health as well as WHO and PAHO.
  6. Massive spreading using planes, as the governments of Mercosur are considering, is criminal, useless, and a political manoeuvre to simulate that actions are taken. The basis of the progress of the disease lies in inequality and poverty, and the best defence are community-based actions.
  7. The last strategy deployed in Brazil, and which might be replicatedin all our countries, is the use of GM mosquitoes — a total failure, except for the company supplying mosquitoes.

In 1962, Rachel Carson published Silent Spring (In 2006, the book was named one of the 25 greatest science books of all time by the editors of Discover Magazine).

The book documented the detrimental effects on the environment — particularly on birds — of the indiscriminate use of pesticides. Carson accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation and public officials of accepting industry claims unquestioningly.

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