Monsanto Denies Claims It’s Responsible for Spread of Zika Virus

February 19, 2016 Updated: February 19, 2016

The Monsanto company has denied claims that it’s responsible for the spread of the Zika virus.

The biotechnology giant issued a statement after theories about the virus’s spread began circulating online.

One of the claims comes from an Argentinian physicians group called Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns, which issued a report earlier this month noting that most of the cases have been happening in Brazilian states where the chemical Pyriproxyfen has been found in water. Pyroproxyfen is the active ingredient in SumiLarv, which has been introduced into the drinking water to try to reduce mosquito populations.

Another warning from Brazilian doctors group Abrasco this month also suggested a possible link.

And officials in the state Rio Grande do Sul suspended the use of SumiLarv over the possible link to Zika.

“Rio Grande do Sul Health Secretary Joao Gabbardo said that, despite the fact that a relationship between the larvicide and microcephaly has not been proven, the ‘suspicion’ that there may be a linkage had led the organizations to decide to ‘suspend’ the use of the chemical,” reported Fox News.

But Monsanto has distanced itself from Sumitomo, the subsidiary that makes SumiLarv, while slamming the claims of a link to Zika.

“You may have seen misinformation and rumors in web articles and on social media regarding Monsanto, the Zika virus, and microcephaly,” the company said.

“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 Company. However, Sumitomo 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.”

Brazil’s Health Ministry also recently issued a statement that there is no evidence linking larvicide, such as SumiLarv, to microcephaly.

It said: “Unlike the relationship between the Zika virus and microcephaly, which has had its confirmation attested 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.”