Quantcast

Mom vs. Monsanto: Goldman Prize Honors Pesticide Reform Champion

Pesticide Action Network

The Goldman Environmental Prize announced on April 16 an award for Argentine mother Sofía Gatica, who has worked tirelessly—even under the threat of violence—to protect children from the hazards of aerial pesticide spraying, especially Monsanto’s RoundUp products.

Thirteen years ago, Sofía’s newborn died after being exposed to pesticides in the womb. She and the “Mothers of Ituzaingó” went door-to-door collecting stories about health problems in each family and discovered the community’s cancer rate to be 41 times the national average. In addition, the mothers found high rates of neurological problems, respiratory diseases and infant mortality. As a result, the group led “Stop the Spraying!” demonstrations with partner organizations like Pesticide Action Network (PAN), and published materials warning the public about the dangers of pesticides. Their efforts gained traction with time as Argentina’s president ordered an investigation in 2008 that corroborated  Sofía’s door-to-door findings.

Later, the Mothers of Ituzaingó won a municipal “buffer zone” ordinance, prohibiting aerial spraying less than 2,500 meters from residences. Despite few resources and real threats—including being held at gunpoint in her own home—Sofía and the Mothers of Ituzaingó continued to prevail, winning a case at the Supreme Court that placed the burden on Monsanto and other pesticide corporations to prove their products are safe before going to market. Sofía continues to expand her efforts across the country—including pursuing a nationwide ban on ingredients in Monsanto’s RoundUp.

"I find what Sofía has done to protect her children deeply inspiring," says Kristin Schafer, PAN's Senior Policy Strategist and mother of two. "Clearly her commitment moved the other mothers in her community to action as well, and by working together they won changes that will protect the whole community—and beyond."

Each year, the Goldman Environmental Prize honors six grassroots leaders from across the globe who work to “protect and enhance the environment.” Sofía Gatica, leader of the “Mothers of Ituzaingó,” received her award at an invite-only event on Monday evening, April 16.

For more information, click here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


mevans / E+ / Getty Images

The federal agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef issued an unprecedented statement that broke ranks with Australia's conservative government and called for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Guardian.

Read More Show Less

A powerful earthquake struck near Athens, Greece and shook the capital city for 15 seconds on Friday, causing people to run into the streets to escape the threat of falling buildings, NBC News reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
U.S. government scientists concluded in a new report that last month was the hottest June on record. Angelo Juan Ramos / Flickr

By Jessica Corbett

As meteorologists warned Thursday that temperatures above 100°F are expected to impact two-thirds of the country this weekend, U.S. government scientists revealed that last month was the hottest June ever recorded — bolstering calls for radical global action on the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less
Rod Waddington / CC BY-SA 2.0

By John R. Platt

For years now conservationists have warned that many of Madagascar's iconic lemur species face the risk of extinction due to rampant deforestation, the illegal pet trade and the emerging market for the primates' meat.

Yes, people eat lemurs, and the reasons they do aren't exactly what we might expect.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pixnio

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Many types of flour are commonly available on the shelves of your local supermarket.

Read More Show Less
A visitor views a digital representation of the human genome at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Mario Tama / Getty Images

Genetics are significantly more responsible for driving autism spectrum disorders than maternal factors or environmental factors such as vaccines and chemicals, according to a massive new study involving more than 2 million people from five different countries.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Emilie Karrick Surrusco

Across the globe, extreme weather is becoming the new normal.

Read More Show Less