In a shocking new development, reports have come in that chemicals, not the Zika virus, may be responsible for the birth defects reported among pregnant women in South and Central America.
As seen on www.ecowatch.com the report, written by the Argentine group Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns (PCST), suspects that pyriproxyfen–a larvicide added to drinking water to stop the development of mosquito larvae in drinking water tanks–has caused the birth defects. The authors said that the pesticide, known by its commercial name SumiLarv, is manufactured by Sumitomo Chemical, a Japanese subsidiary of Monsanto.
“Malformations detected in thousands of children from pregnant women living in areas where the Brazilian state added pyriproxyfen to drinking water is not a coincidence, even though the Ministry of Health places a direct blame on Zika virus for this damage, while trying to ignore its responsibility and ruling out the hypothesis of direct and cumulative chemical damage caused by years of endocrine and immunological disruption of the acted upon population,” PCST said.
Those areas of Brazil with the highest incidence of birth defects are also those where the water was treatedrepeatedly with the larvicide. The New York Times also reported on 3rd February on the outcome of analyses by Brazil’s Health Ministry: “Of the cases examined so far, 404 have been confirmed as having microcephaly. Only 17 of them tested positive for the Zika virus. But the government and many researchers say that number may be largely irrelevant, because their tests would find the presence of the virus in only a tiny percentage of cases.”
Conversely, Columbia has confirmed several thousand cases of Zika virus, but has not treated the water. This weekend Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, added to the argument for pesticides as the source of the birth defects. As reported by the Washington Post, Colombian public health officials, stated Santos, have so far diagnosed 3,177 pregnant women with the Zika virus- but in no case had microcephaly been observed in the fetus.
Pyriproxyfen alters the development process from larva to pupa to adult, thus generating malformations in developing mosquitoes and killing or disabling them. According to their website, tests carried out in a variety of animals by Sumitomo found that it was not a teratogen, or source of birth defects, in the mammals it was tested on.
Photo credit: bbc.com