Herbicide Used in Colombia Defended

Herbicide Used in Colombia Defended
Posted by FoM on March 24, 2001 at 18:21:49 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
A U.S. lawmaker defended the use of a herbicide being used to kill drug crops in Colombia, calling criticism that it causes environmental damage and illness unfounded. Rep. Jim Kolbe said Saturday that he uses the herbicide glyphosate - marketed in the United States as Roundup - to kill weeds that grow outside his vacation cabin back home. "I think the fears about this are unfounded," said the Arizona Republican, who is heading a four-person congressional delegation that arrived Friday for a three-day visit. 
"It's impossible to eradicate the coca in the very distance reaches of Colombia without using this aerial spraying." Crop dusters protected by U.S.-donated combat helicopters have eradicated thousands of acres of coca, the main ingredient of cocaine, since fumigations began last December. Reports have surfaced that the sprayings are causing ailments like skin rashes and respiratory problems. Environmentalists say fragile ecosystems are being hurt. The U.S. State Department has said there are no harmful effects from the herbicide. U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson decided recently to dispatch a medical team to investigate complaints. The drug war is being funded through a $1.3 billion aid package from Washington that includes troop training and dozens of combat helicopters. Critics say the aid package is bent too heavily toward military help and should include more money for social programs. But at a press conference late Saturday, Kolbe said the military backing is essential in order to curb the country's narcotics industry. Most of the cocaine and a growing portion of heroin consumed in the U.S. come from Colombia. Sen. Paul Wellstone, a Minnesota Democrat who opposes the aid package, also arrived Friday on a separate two-day visit. Source: Associated PressPublished: March 24, 2001Copyright: 2001 Associated PressRelated Articles & Web Site:Paul Wellstone (D) Senior Senator from Minnesota E-mail: senator wellstone.senate.govWeb Site: War on Drugs Takes Toll on Environment Chemical Warfare in Colombia for Human Rights in Herbicide Mist Police Spray Herbicide on Wellstone 
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Comment #10 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on March 26, 2001 at 06:51:40 PT:
Verbal Economy
"It's impossible to eradicate the coca in the very distance reaches of Colombia without using this aerial spraying." He should have been more consise to be truly accurate:It's impossible to eradicate the coca.That's the truth. 
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Comment #9 posted by New Mexican on March 25, 2001 at 18:38:46 PT
Thanks for the truth!
Observers' link is appreciated! There you have the facts,and of course, pols have no use for them. Why should they look at pesticide studies (or cannabis studies), that reveal the truth, when they're well lobbied hired-hands looking at pulling a grand deception over the publics' eyes in the first place? This is an incredibly criminal feat being paid for with your tax dollars and in our(American) name. Worse than Viet Nam? Yes! Why? Because it is 40 years later and we all know about it and we're doing nothing to stop it. Sounds likea third world Holocaust (in the name of the oil that lies beneath the ground), and a completely mindless/ assault by the military/indlustrial-corporate complex on the indigenous peoples,(as well as our own), the earth and her resources.Speak now or forever hold your peace, my history teacherused to say! See Independant Media Center( for updates on plan Columbia actions if you're compelled.
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Comment #8 posted by Cuzn Buzz on March 25, 2001 at 08:31:38 PT:
The truth is that the crap they are spraying is deadly.A few years ago some mention was made in the national media about the anacyphlatic(no brain) babies born in south Texas.These babies were born with no brain due to weed killers used in the region leeching into the ground water which supplied the wells of the farm workers.We are killing humans with this idiotic spray campaign.We kill their food crops and their animals and their children with this cloud of death as our country wages war on the most impoverished people in the world.If the world were a fair place our "drug warriors" would soon be facing firing squads for the crimes against humanity they so freely commit.
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Comment #7 posted by kindone on March 25, 2001 at 07:03:53 PT
your not the only one
There's oil under them there trees. Lots of it.
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Comment #6 posted by DEDBR on March 25, 2001 at 04:58:33 PT:
Dont be afraid.Its only U.S.!
  I was raised in the sixties so I dont really believe anything that the government tells us anyway,but I want to know if this guy has the round up factory in his state?If Plan Columbia had a provision for 800,000 bottles of roundup for the Columbian soldiers to spray the nasty old coca plants it might be ok.On this issue perhaps we should ask some experts on aerial chemical defoliants what the results of this will be,Viet Nam vets who were sprayed with Agent Orange.But wait;we cant do that because they are all DEAD.To this day there are huge dead spots in Viet Nam thatwont supprt life.   Energy crisis,gas prices,Plan Columbia,oil pipelines,oilcompanys,am i the only one out there who thinks these words start to blend together and mean the same thing after hearing them a couple of times?The Columbian government comes to us with an economic aid package of much needed schools and hospitals to help raise the standards of their people.We instead send a sack full of guns and tell them that they need to raise the level of violence in ther country.Oh and by the way,watch those american owned oil pipelines while your at it.With those shiny new U.S.helicoptors we give you,you can get to those hard to reach places and eradicate your countrymen at an even greater clip than ever before.I guess i should shut my mouth and be thankful;atleast their not spraying me.
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Comment #5 posted by New Mexican on March 24, 2001 at 23:35:22 PT
Cannabis: badRound-up pesticide: good
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Comment #4 posted by Pancho on March 24, 2001 at 22:10:38 PT
chemical compassion brought to you by uncle Sam 
There was an article a year or two ago in the local alternative press about a highway worker that was clearing brush on the side of the highways using Roundup. Somehow this person stumbled into some thistle which cut his pants and his leg without him realizing it. This worker, without knowing it, sprayed the cuts on his own leg with Roundup. It didn't take long for this guy's leg to swell up like an elephant's leg. If he hadn't of had proper medical attention he would of lost his leg. The obvious questions are; how long can our country be allowed to stoop to these levels of inhumanity? How many countries do we have to ruin in order to solve our problem? Where the christ is the UN when they could be of some benifit in saving lives? Why my taxpayer dollars? Not everybody in Colombia can just drive to the local supermarket like Jim Kolbe and buy healthy nutritious food. This guy lives in a very rich vacume and unfortunately someboby elected him. This Plan Colombia is a form of chemical warfare.Peace  
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Comment #3 posted by observer on March 24, 2001 at 22:06:46 PT
Juan Valdez: Got Glyphosate Roundup Rash?
the herbicide glyphosate . . . Reports have surfaced that the sprayings are causing ailments like skin rashes and respiratory problems. Environmentalists say fragile ecosystems are being hurt.``glyphosate was the third most commonly-reported cause of pesticide illness among agricultural workers. Another study from the School of Public Health found that glyphosate was the most commonly reported cause of pesticide illness among landscape maintenance workers. . .''See glyphosate/Roundup toxicity links, here: U.S. State Department has said there are no harmful effects from the herbicideYeah ... uh, now might be the time to unload stocks in companies that use poor Juan Valdez' "rich Colombian coffee" beans, 'cause they (like other Colombian food exports) are a little "richer" these days -- enriched by the healthy herbicide high of glyphosate. Yummy! And I'll bet all the friendly happy folks at US "State Department" facilities worldwide are enjoying an extra-large cup of glyphosate-enriched coffee these days, too! (There seems to be a slight difference of opinion between the US State Dept. [intel], and others.)But, of course, now marijuana, say, on the other hand, in contrast to the Roundup rash glyphosate goo: that's just as harmful as harmful can be! And it was so very harmful, that (in order to Save the Children, you see), 'we' had to lock their adult mommies and daddies in gulag for disobeying party and government. . . 
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Comment #2 posted by craven on March 24, 2001 at 21:29:43 PT
ya right!
Of course him with his little spray bottle is safe. He's directly applying it to the ground, not dumping clouds of it all over his property. Plus, it's at his vacation cabin.. these people LIVE in the cloud of toxic chemicals we're dumping on them... How the hell can he sanely (soberly) make such a comparison?!?! 
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Comment #1 posted by Austin on March 24, 2001 at 19:39:54 PT
Its all about method of aplication . On one side Colombians have rebels breathing down their throats to grow coca . Then they get sprayed from above . If its ok for them them its ok for the senator. Lets rent a plane and do some sprayin . Remember when they said agent orange was safe . Its sad when people dont learn from their mistakes
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