There’s Absolutely No Evidence That Pesticides Are To Blame For The Rise In Microcephaly
photo credit: The larvicide pyriproxyfen has now been accused of causing microcephaly. Jung_Rattanasiri
A group this week has announced that the thousands of cases of microcephaly reported this year aren’t down to the Zika virus, but are instead due to pesticides.
The report, compiled by an Argentinian organisation called Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Villages, highlights the fact that some areas hit hard by the epidemic have not reported any cases of microcephaly. For instance, more than 5,000 pregnant women have been infected in Colombia, but there has been an apparent absence of this birth defect, which causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads. Yet in Brazil, there have been more than 460 cases confirmed since the outbreak came under investigation last year, and more than 3,800 suspected cases.
The link between microcephaly and Zika has yet to be confirmed, but is strongly suspected by health professionals. The report however proposes an alternative explanation: a larvicide called pyriproxyfen, which has been added to drinking water supplies in some regions of Brazil since 2014 with the aim of reducing mosquito numbers. And of course, just to make the story sound more convincing, the document points out that pyriproxyfen is produced by a subsidiary of Monsanto, Sumimoto Chemical. However, Monsanto has been quick to point out to Tech Times that it does not own the company.
FULL STORY AT:IFLScience