Alert: Nation will reduce by decree the distances to fumigate with agrochemicals

Alert: Nation will reduce by decree the distances to fumigate with agrochemicals

Against what has been happening in several provinces and municipalities that have extended the distances of spraying with pesticides to protect the populated centers, the Ministries of Environment and Sustainable Development and of Agroindustry of the Nation are about to issue a resolution with minimum distances for the application of agrochemicals in urban centers, and will invite provinces and municipalities to adhere to this rule.

Currently, the distances for the application of poisons used by agribusiness are regulated in provincial legislation and in some municipal ordinances, in use of the constitutional powers and competencies that are their own. And in light of the evidence added from the increase in cases of acute poisoning and the increase in chronic pathologies related to the use of pesticides, these permitted distances are still very low.

The imminent decision of the national government to further reduce the distances currently allowed for aerial and ground fumigations, functional to the soy lobby and the chemical industry, was announced by the ministers Sergio Bergman (Environment and Sustainable Development) and Ricardo Buryaile (Agroindustry) after participating of the inauguration of the 25th Congress of the Argentine Association of Direct Sowing Producers (Aapresid), which is held in Rosario.

To take a dimension of the impact, it is enough to know that worldwide, 10% of agriculture uses pesticides, while in Argentina, the percentage of direct sowing on the cultivated area is 90 percent.

At the time of the former Minister of Agriculture, Julián Domínguez, and later with his successor Norberto Yauhar, the national government and entities of the sector worked on a document with recommendations for the application of agrochemicals. 200 meters away from populated centers for aerial application and 100 meters for ground spraying.

But several municipalities and some provinces, little by little - and by force of SOCIAL PRESSURE and judicial decisions - were expanding these distances through their own regulations that THE NATION CONSIDERS "VERY RESTRICTIVE" and that it will expand WITHOUT DISCUSSION OF THE CONGRESS, via resolution, or participation of the MINISTRY OF HEALTH OF THE NATION.

Even several judicial decisions in several provinces (Santa Fe, Buenos Aires, Formosa, Salta, Chaco, Formosa), prohibit the fumigation with poisons at less than 1500 meters and have declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL FUMIGATION AT A SHORTEST DISTANCE.

In Entre Ríos Entre Ríos, Law 6599 currently in force limits the aerial applications of agrochemicals within a radius of 3,000 meters from the perimeter of the populated centers (a distance 15 times greater than that which the Nation will authorize).

According to Bergman, at present it is "a chaos" what happens in the matter of the different norms (although for the rabbi the sanitary disaster generated by the fumigations with these poisons is not a chaos). For this reason, he indicated: "We are reaching a consensus on a resolution so that the jurisdictions will later adhere. It will come out as a resolution of Agroindustry and Environment" without consultation or participation of the MINISTRY OF HEALTH.

The official indicated that there will be typified, although he did not specify the distances, "the coverage and security strips for the application" in relation to urban centers.

For his part, Buryaile said that while the Government respects "federalism and the capacity for self-determination to generate laws" by the different jurisdictions, the municipalities should not have "very dissimilar" positions with the Nation on this issue.

Even the World Health Organization (WHO) warned about the link between glyphosate (the most widely used herbicide) and cancer. The WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer issued an unpublished document on March 20: "There is convincing evidence that glyphosate can cause cancer in laboratory animals and there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans (non-Hodgkin lymphoma) ". It details that the evidence in humans corresponds to the exposure of farmers from the United States, Canada and Sweden, with scientific publications since 2001. And it highlights that the herbicide "also caused damage to DNA and chromosomes in human cells", a situation that is related direct with cancer.

Source: La Nación - Noticiauno

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