After Sofia Gatica’s infant daughter succumbed to pesticide poisoning, she formed the organization Mothers of Ituzaingo to raise awareness and expose the dangers of pesticide spraying. She was awarded the Goldman Prize in 2012 for her efforts, and now she is using her story to inspire policy change in Argentina and around the world.
In fact, Gatica just wrapped up a European speaking tour that lasted nearly a month. The 2012 European Conference of GMO-Free Regions kicked off the tour on September 5th in Brussels, Belgium, where Gatica addressed the European community on the future of organic agriculture and the effects of spraying toxic agrochemicals.
The conference and tour were organized, hosted and sponsored by the Future for Farming Foundation, where 2005 Prize winner Stephanie Roth is now employed. Roth, a former editor for The Ecologist magazine, was awarded the Prize for leading an international campaign to stop the construction of what would have been Europe’s largest open cast gold mine in Romania.
Gatica’s speaking tour made stops in several countries including Spain, Germany and Poland- where she met up with 2002 Prize recipient Jadwiga Lopata, one of the region’s leading advocates for organic farming.
Traveling as a powerful united front, Gatica was joined on tour by friend and fellow member of Mothers of Ituzaingo, Maria del Milagro.