Microcephaly has been linked to the Zika virus, since it became an epidemic. However, the Zika Virus which allegedly has an effect on pregnant women; leading to babies born with microcephaly, a neurological condition where babies are born with abnormal small-sized skulls and brains is yet to be confirmed.
This new research reports that the neurological condition is rather linked to a pesticide.
This pesticide is pyriproxyfen – a larvicide that taims at killing the Zika-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquito. It is sold under the name, Sumilarv, and manufactured by Sumitomo, a subsidiary of Monsanto
“Pyriproxyfen is a growth inhibitor of mosquito larvae, which alters the development process from larva to pupa to adult, thus generating malformations in developing mosquitoes and killing or disabling them. It acts as an insect juvenile hormone or juvenoid, and has the effect of inhibiting the development of adult insect characteristics (for example, wings and mature external genitalia) and reproductive development. It is an endocrine disruptor and is teratogenic (causes birth defects).+
“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 affected population.” said the Physicians In Crop-Sprayed Towns (PCST)
The group explains that microcephaly cases are more rampant in Brazil, where pyriproxyfen is used. In colombia, the zika infections have not been linked to microcephaly yet.
Also The Washington Post last month reported that not all cases of microcephaly in Brazil was linked to the zika virus. “After experts scrutinised 732 of the cases, they found that more than half either weren’t microcephaly, or weren’t related to Zika,”
Upon receiving information on this report, a Brazilian state has suspended the use of the pesticide.
“We decided to suspend the use of the product in drinking water until we have a position from the Ministry of Health, and so, we reinforce further still the appeal to the population to eliminate any possible mosquito breeding site,” Joao Gabbardo dos Reis, state health secretary in Rio Grande do Sul said.
However, the Brazilian government and WHO do not agree with this theory. The Brazilian government said in a statement;
” Unlike the relationship between the Zika virus and microcephaly, which has had its confirmation shown in tests that indicated the presence of the virus in samples of blood, tissue and amniotic fluid, the association between the use of pyriproxyfen and microcephaly has no scientific basis,”
The World Health Organization also insists that pyriproxyfen is safe in drinking water. Also, according to Donna Bowater, the WHO is close to publishing a report that shows the definite link between microcephaly and Zika Virus.