Research team proves lethal effects of glyphosate and paraquat

04-Sep-2019 - Germany

After the study results of an international research team on the connection between the use of pesticides on sugar cane plantations in Central America and the deaths of tens of thousands of people became known, the development organization INKOTA called on the German government to give in. It must finally ensure that European companies such as Bayer-Monsanto and Syngenta are no longer allowed to market harmful pesticides in countries of the global South.

Bild von <a href=";utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=880567" marked="1">skeeze</a> auf <a href=";utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=880567" marked="1">Pixabay</a>

"This study is very relevant," says Ana Celia Tercero, director of the Nicaraguan smallholder organisation APADEIM. "It provides scientific evidence that the use of agrochemicals on sugar cane plantations is responsible for the deaths of thousands of workers." In other countries, the pesticides used there have long been banned. "The results of the research strengthen the claims of those affected for damages. They provide a basis for forcing companies to take responsibility."

For 20 years, experts have observed a noticeable accumulation of chronic kidney failure in the sugar cane growing regions of Central America. The workers on the plantations are just as affected as the families living in the surrounding area. More than 20,000 people have died of chronic renal insufficiency in the region in the past ten years. For a long time, the cause of the diseases was considered controversial. Only the new scientific investigations of an international research team from El Salvador, Belgium, Cuba and Sri Lanka now prove that the herbicides paraquat and glyphosate are significantly responsible for the diseases. The investigations are mainly based on studies by the El Salvador-based physician Carlos Orantes and were first presented by the Belgian renal therapist and toxicologist Marc De Broe in June of this year at the annual congress of the European Renal Association/European Dialysis and Transplant Association in Budapest. The study is expected to be published in September.

"Every day young people who work on sugar cane plantations die here," says Ana Celia Tercero. Instead of burning off the crop residues of sugar cane as in the past, companies today use large quantities of glyphosate. "The product is highly toxic and leaves cruel traces. The situation in our district has worsened in recent years. The women are left alone by the death of the men and have to feed their families alone, which is an extremely difficult task. But the companies do not change anything about the production method, although it is clear that they are destroying the lives of many families."

INKOTA agriculture expert Lena Michelsen therefore calls on politicians to act: "The German government must finally ensure that European companies such as Bayer and Syngenta are no longer allowed to market toxic pesticides in countries of the global South in the future. The German Minister of Agriculture should also push for a ban on glyphosate re-evaluation in the European Union, instead of continuing her cuddling course with the agricultural industry."

Note: This article has been translated using a computer system without human intervention. LUMITOS offers these automatic translations to present a wider range of current news. Since this article has been translated with automatic translation, it is possible that it contains errors in vocabulary, syntax or grammar. The original article in German can be found here.

Other news from the department science

More news from our other portals

Meat from the laboratory