In his green cornfield, Salvadoran farmer Medardo Pérez set about filling the hand-held spray pump that hangs on his back, with the right mixture of water and paraquat, a potent herbicide, and began spraying the weeds.
After the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen, the campaign has intensified in Latin America to ban the herbicide, which is employed on a massive scale on transgenic crops.
The advertising department of Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta was on a roll in early 2004 when it published a map that dubbed a large area of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay the “United Republic of Soy”.
Two key federal agencies here are in the final stages of approving a new herbicide-resistant crop “system” that would constitute the second phase of genetically engineered agriculture, following an announcement this week.
Despite looming differences over Colombia's drug policy, President Barack Obama renewed his support for a peaceful settlement to the civil war that has plagued the country for over half a century in a meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Tuesday.
The people of this working-class suburb of Córdoba in Argentina’s central farming belt stoically put up with the spraying of the weed-killer glyphosate on the fields surrounding their neighbourhood. But the last straw was when U.S. biotech giant Monsanto showed up to build a seed plant.
The secrecy surrounding a friendly settlement in a case that Ecuador brought against Colombia in the International Court of Justice for damage caused by anti-drug spraying along the border has further angered those affected by the fumigation.
Environmental safety groups are stepping up efforts to prevent a reportedly dangerous yet widely used herbicide from being sold in the United States, even as the country’s primary environmental regulator is considering increasing the amount of the herbicide allowed in the U.S. food supply.