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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
Name of conflict:Monsanto and soy monocultures, Argentina
State or province:Cordoba, Santa, Fe, La Pampa, santiago del Estero, and other provinces
Accuracy of locationLOW (Country level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Children out of 30 resulted with high rates of agrotoxins in their blood after blood tests were done.

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Project area:17000000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Company names or state enterprises:Monsanto Corporation (Monsanto Co) from United States of America
Nidera Semillas S.A. from Argentina
Relevant government actors:SENASA, CONABIA, CONICET, FAA
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Santa 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
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Community-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
Other Health impactsCancer
Socio-economical 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
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
New legislation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Proposal and development of alternatives:Erradication of soy monocultures, crop rotations, giving up on the use of herbicide and glyphosate.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain: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 & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

National Forest Act

Biological Diversity Convention

Provintial Law 7543

Tax Law for Exportations

Deforestation Convention

National Law 26.331

Law of Minimum Presumption for the Protection of Native Forests

Text of Santa Fe Court of Appeal Sentence

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

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

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

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

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

BANDERILLEROS: Los niegan, los ocultan, pero hablan, medio&medio
[click to view]

Campagna Paren de Fumigar
[click to view]

[click to view]

Grr Campaña, entrevista con el Dr. Rodolfo Paramo
[click to view]

Argentina: A Case Study on the Impact of Genetically Engineered Soya, EcoNexus, 2005
[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: The Country that Monsanto Poisoned? Photo Essay, Over Grow the system, 29/12/2014
[click to view]

EcosCordoba website (Spanish)
[click to view]

Malvinas Argentinas, la comunidad que logró frenar a Monsanto, el gigante de los transgénicos, V., Smink, December 12th 2014, BBC Mundo
[click to view]

Malvinas Argentinas : ” Hasta las últimas consecuencias”, B., Camprubí, 25/07/2015
[click to view]

Grupo de Reflexion Rural
[click to view]

Pueblos Fumigados Informe sobre la problematica del uso de plaguicidas en las principales provincias sojeras de la Argentina
[click to view]

Glifosato condenados en el aire, medio&medio
[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]

Meta information
Contributor:Lucie Greyl
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:487
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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