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Cancer Deaths Double in Argentina's GMO Agribusiness Areas

For related articles and information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our Health Issues page.

A report by the Ministry of Health in Córdoba, Argentina reveals that deaths from cancerous tumours are double the national average in areas where genetically engineered crops are grown and agro-chemicals are used.

This comprehensive report documented five years of information on cancer cases in the province.

It provides more evidence that, far from being the miracle it is claimed to be, industrial, GMO driven cropping is turning into a public health hell

The highest rate of death occurs in the 'pampa gringa' area, where most GMO crops are grown and most agrochemicals are used.

The 'pampa gringa' makes up the whole of the east of Córdoba province and is its premier agricultural region.

The provincial average for cancer deaths is 158 per 100,000 inhabitants but in four of the 'pampa gringa' departments the death rates are much higher - ranging from 216 to nearly 230.

Other intensive agriculture regions in Córdoba also have cancer deaths well above the provincial and national average - ranging from 180-201 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Cancer multiplying 'as never before' through pesticide link

The 'Report on Cancer in Córdoba 2004-2009' is the culmination of an official investigation and was prepared by the Provincial Tumour Registry and the Department of Statistics and Census.

But its recent publication has reignited criticism from doctors and researchers about the government delays and unwillingness to take action.

Dr. Medardo Avila Vazquez of the University Network for Environment and Health (Reduas) said:

"What we have complained about for years was confirmed and especially what doctors say about the sprayed towns and areas affected by industrial agriculture. Cancer cases are multiplying as never before in areas with massive use of pesticides."

Dr. Fernando Manas of the Genetics and Environmental Mutagenesis Group at the National University of Rio Cuarto, is investigating the effect of agrochemicals. He doesn't think the cancer cases in agricultural areas are a coincidence.

Researchers at Río Cuarto have studied the people of Córdoba for eight years and have confirmed, in fifteen scientific publications, that people exposed to pesticides suffer genetic damage and are more prone to cancer.   

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