Mother Wins Top Environmental Award for Beating Monsanto
April 28, 2012
After experiencing the traumatizing death of her daughter to kidney
failure just three days after her daughter was born, Sofia Gatica from
Argentina became determined to find out what killed her daughter. Her
conclusion? Monsanto’s genetically modified soy fields that surrounded
her neighborhood, laced with damaging insecticides negatively affecting
nearby neighborhood children and adults alike. Gatica began to detail
how her small town was plagued with astronomically high birth defect
rates, respiratory disease, and even infant mortality.
From this point, the courageous mother decided
to take on Monsanto. Amazingly, she is not alone in her struggle
against the biotechnology colossus when it comes to causing birth
problems, as a large group of farmers — also from Argentina — have
launched a lawsuit against Monsanto for causing ‘devastating birth
defects‘ in children.
Gatica was initially alone, however, when she first began her uphill
battle. Forming a group of concerned mothers in her local area of
Ituzaingó after hosting an event at her home to discuss her experiences,
the mother would be one of the very few who has actually beat Monsanto.
After sharing her story with local mothers who were also concerned
for the safety of their children and families as a whole, Gatica
co-founded the Mothers of Ituzaingó — an action group of 16 mothers
collaborating to end Monsanto’s rampant chemical usage. The team took to
the streets, going door to door to create what was the first
epidemiological study of the area, only to discover that the effects of
Monsanto’s concoctions were dramatically affecting many families in the
town of Ituzaingó. With cancer rates 41 times the national average, something had to be done.
As a result of the serious campaign to eradicate Monsanto, the
mothers were rewarded. Argentina’s Supreme Court not only banned
chemical spraying near populated areas, but demanded that the government
as well as soy manufacturers now prove that these chemicals are safe.
Sofia Gatica is now being honored for her great environmental work with
the Goldman Environmental prize,
a major environmental award given to activists. The story shows just
how serious activism can take down most any threat — even Monsanto.
This article first appeared at NaturalSociety, smack in the middle of the war for health freedom.
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