As health worries about the mosquito-borne Zika virus spread, so are the rumors. The latest on social media? That the use of a Monsanto mosquito larvicide is causing the Brazilian spike in microcephaly, a birth defect where babies are born with unusually small heads and brains.
On Feb. 13, Monsanto addressed the issue directly in “The Truth About Monsanto and the Zika Virus” on a company blog post:
You may have seen misinformation and rumors on social media regarding Monsanto, the Zika virus and microcephaly. Unfortunately, this misinformation causes unwarranted fear and distracts from the health crisis at hand and how you can take steps to protect you and your family. Here are some facts:
- Neither Monsanto nor our products have any connection to the Zika virus or microcephaly.
- Monsanto does not manufacture or sell Pyriproxyfen.
- Monsanto does not own Sumitomo Chemical Company. However, Sumitomo Chemical Company is one of our business partners in the area of crop protection.
- Glyphosate is not connected in any way to the Zika virus or microcephaly.
- GMOs have no role in the Zika virus or microcephaly.
The Zika virus is a tragic and critical health issue. Dealing effectively with such an important health threat requires a focus on the facts. As a science-based company working to help meet some of the world’s biggest challenges we support all efforts to combat this health crisis. We hope all efforts will be taken based on the facts, not rumors.
As the Zika situation develops, doctors and infectious disease experts are looking more closely at the virus, how it spreads, and the unexpected jump in babies with microcephaly. Some new research suggests that the microcephaly numbers may have been overstated, according to a story in the Washington Post.