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default GM soy: The invisible ingredient 'poisoning' children

Post by Compostwoman on 3rd May 2011, 7:58 pm

GM soy: The invisible ingredient 'poisoning' children

The home of Petrona Villasboa is surrounded by genetically modified (GM) soy fields. The golden crop looks like a bumper harvest but for her it is a symbol of death.
“Soy destroys people’s lives,” she says. “It is a poison. It is no way to live. Soy is deadly to us”.

Sitting outside her painted green shack in rural Paraguay, the mother of eight describes the day in January 2003 when her 11-year-old son Silvino Talavera came home from cycling to the shops.

“I was washing clothes down by the river and he came to tell me he had been sprayed by one of the mosquitoes (the spraying machines behind a tractor),” she says.

“He smelt so bad that he took his clothes off and jumped straight in the water.”

The busy mum did not think much more about it. For people living around GM soy fields spraying with chemicals is a common occurrence.

But later that day the whole family was ill after eating the food Silvino had brought from the shops.

Petrona rushed her youngest to hospital and by the time she was back the usually healthy child was in bed rigid with pain.

Now in a blind panic, she begged local farmers to take her to hospital.

“He was violently sick, he said mummy, my bones ache, his skin went black,” she says.

By the time they arrived in the city Silvino was paralysed, all the doctors could do was administer pain killers, while his mother wiped the foam from his mouth. In a few hours he was dead.

Read more about GM soy and the communities affected by its growth
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