The Fatal Soybean

The Fatal Soybean

Press TV (2013)

Film Review

Recently 30,000 Argentinean doctors signed a petition requesting their government ban the use of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. The Fatal Soybean is a documentary about the large cluster of miscarriages, birth defects, cancer and autoimmune disease in villages adjacent to Argentina’s immense “soy desert.” The filmmakers interview local doctors, environmentalists and grassroots activists. They focus in on one particular activist group, the Ituzainga Mothers Club. These women mobilized after numerous family members died or developed chronic illness following repeated exposure to the herbicides and pesticides sprayed on soybean crops.

As depicted in the documentary, Silence of the Pandas, a massive swathe of Argentina’s natural forest and grassland has been cleared to plant Monsanto’s Roundup-ready soy. The latter is a genetically engineered plant specifically designed to withstand spraying with the Monsanto herbicide Roundup. Owing to the emergence of Roundup resistant super weeds, most farmers are spraying more and more frequently with heavier and heavier concentrations of herbicide.

One of the doctors interviewed talks about the recent Dutch ban on Roundup and GM soy imports. Prior to 2014, the Netherlands imported GM soy animal feed from Argentina to feed their 250,000 pigs. After Dutch farmers found 20-30% of their piglets were born dead or with birth defects, research revealed that GMO soy absorbs traces of Roundup from repeated spraying.