Monsanto and soy monocultures, Argentina

GM soy monocultures ravages on health and biodiversity mobilize numerous semi-rural communities but this harmful production, at the core of Argentinean economy, remains hard to challenge.


In 1996 a particular variety of transgenic soy was introduced in Argentina. Marketed as Round Up Ready soy (RR), it was genetically modified to resist Round Up, a potent glyphosate-based herbicide. The North American multinational company Monsanto, a specialist in agricultural biotechnology and seeds and the worldwide leader in GM food production, produce both the RR soy and herbicide.

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Basic Data
NameMonsanto and soy monocultures, Argentina
ProvinceCordoba, Santa, Fe, La Pampa, santiago del Estero, and other provinces
Accuracy of LocationLOW country/state level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Deforestation
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Specific CommoditiesLand
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsChildren out of 30 resulted with high rates of agrotoxins in their blood after blood tests were done.

Between 2002 and 2006, 414 934 hectares were deforested double the rate of the period 1998-2002.

Out of 5000 residents have cancer in the region presumably due to the cunsumption of glyphosate.

In 2015, soja fields extend over 20 million hectares.
Project Area (in hectares)17000000
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Company Names or State EnterprisesMonsanto Corporation (Monsanto Co) from United States of America
Nidera Semillas S.A. from Argentina
Relevant government actorsSENASA, CONABIA, CONICET, FAA
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersSanta Fe Court of Appeal- Argentina, La Asamblea Malvinas Lucha por la Vida, Union de Trabajadores Agrcolas Representacion Estatal - Argentina, FOCO - Argentina, AA of AA - Argentina, Grupo de Madres Ituzaing Anexo - Argentina, GRR - Argentina, CEPRONAT - Argentina, RENACE - Argentina, Cordoba Coordination for the Defence of Water and Life - Argentina, UAC - Argentina, Argetine Association of Environmental Attorneys - Argentina, Cordoba Coordinadora en Defensa del Agua y de la Vida - Argentina, The Cordoba Court of Justice, Supreme Court of Justice - Argentina
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationCommunity-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Genetic contamination, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Desertification/Drought, Global warming, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Deaths
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
New legislation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of AlternativesErradication of soy monocultures, crop rotations, giving up on the use of herbicide and glyphosate.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Althought there is a stron movement to stop aerial spraying og glyphosate, and many critiques against deforestation in Chaco and their territories, there has been no compensation or punishment of the corporation responsible for the environmental and health harms.
Sources and Materials

Provintial Law 7543

National Forest Act

Tax Law for Exportations

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Biological Diversity Convention

Deforestation Convention

National Law 26.331

Law of Minimum Presumption for the Protection of Native Forests

Text of Santa Fe Court of Appeal Sentence


Haceme la tesis. Los convenios secretos de la universidad pblica con las multinacionales ms cuestionadas. Como obligan a sintonizar lo acadmico con sus intereses, MU, n. 22, marzo 2009

Argentina paese dei paradossi, Mara Seoane, Editori Laterza, Bari, 2004

La Organización de los Pueblos Indigenas en Argentina. El caso de la ONPIA, Andrs Cuyul Guillermo Davinson Pacheco, Buenos Aires, 2007

Documentary Hambre de Soja di Marcelo Vinas

Los de la tierra. De las ligas agrarias a los movimientos campesinos, Pancho Ferrara, Ediciones Tinta Limn, Buenos Aires, 2007

Documentary La Jugada del Peon, 2015


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Glifosato condenados en el aire, medio&medio
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BANDERILLEROS: Los niegan, los ocultan, pero hablan, medio&medio
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Campagna Paren de Fumigar
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Grupo de Reflexion Rural
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Pueblos Fumigados Informe sobre la problematica del uso de plaguicidas en las principales provincias sojeras de la Argentina
[click to view]

Questions are being raised about whether overplanting soybeans and linked deforestation is causing the increasingly damaging floods, March 2015
[click to view]

Manifesto on the future of seeds, International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture (many languages available).
[click to view]

Argentina: A Case Study on the Impact of Genetically Engineered Soya, EcoNexus, 2005
[click to view]

Argentina: The Country that Monsanto Poisoned? Photo Essay, Over Grow the system, 29/12/2014
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Grr Campaña, entrevista con el Dr. Rodolfo Paramo
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EcosCordoba website (Spanish)
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Malvinas Argentinas, la comunidad que logró frenar a Monsanto, el gigante de los transgénicos, V., Smink, December 12th 2014, BBC Mundo
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Malvinas Argentinas : ” Hasta las últimas consecuencias”, B., Camprubí, 25/07/2015
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Other Documents

Blockade of Monsanto seeds' factory at Malvinas Argentinas, Cordoba Province, July 2013
[click to view]

Demostration in Cordoba city, on September 17th 2012
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorLucie Greyl
Last update18/01/2016