Herbicides from Colombia Threaten Ecuadoreans 

Herbicides from Colombia Threaten Ecuadoreans 
Posted by CN Staff on June 21, 2002 at 10:32:00 PT
By Reese Erlich
Source: Dallas Morning News
Walking along a dirt trail here in the heart of Ecuador's Amazon forest, farmer Santiago Tanguila points to trees with yellow, withered leaves. Life for subsistence farmers has always been precarious here in San Francisco 2, a village of only 32 people next to the Colombian border, but now they face a new danger. Colombian government planes spray U.S.-manufactured herbicides inside Colombia in an attempt to eradicate cocaine-producing coca plants. 
But the wind blows the toxic liquid into Ecuador, causing widespread crop damage and illnesses, according to local farmers and government officials. "This liquid comes out and covers everything," said Mr. Tanguila, who is president of the Indigenous Association of San Francisco 2. "It wrecks our agriculture. It affects everything we grow." Many of those affected are Quichua Indians, the largest tribal group in Ecuador. Indians, who make up 25 percent of Ecuador's 13 million people, occupy the lowest economic positions. Herbicide spraying can kill crops such as coffee, yucca and mango, and potentially pollute water supplies, environmentalists said. Down a dirt path, Quichua farmer Judith Rodriguez recalls how a misty cloud of herbicide hit her farm located about a half mile from the Colombian border. "I got sick with a kind of fever," she said. "I have body aches and intense headaches. At the time, I had rashes on my skin. The doctors say the problems are caused by the aerial spraying." Some 10,000 Ecuadoreans were affected by the spraying, according to the Quito-based, environmental group Ecological Action. All of the farmers living within three miles of the border report symptoms of herbicide poisoning, while 89 percent living within 6 miles report symptoms, according to Adolfo Maldonado, a Spanish doctor who worked on an Ecological Action report. Symptoms include respiratory problems, headaches, severe skin sores and intestinal bleeding. The aerial spraying is financed by Plan Colombia, a $7 billion U.S.-backed project aimed at eradicating cocaine production and supporting the Colombian government's war with leftist guerrillas. The Colombian government sprays with RoundupUltra, manufactured by St. Louis-based Monsanto Company. Monsanto says RoundupUltra, which is used as a weed killer in the United States, is safe both for humans and plants when properly applied.  Snipped: Complete Article: Dallas Morning News (TX)Author: Reese Erlich, Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News Published: June 21, 2002Copyright: 2002 The Dallas Morning NewsWebsite: letterstoeditor dallasnews.comRelated Articles & Web Sites:DynCorp Fumigation Drug War News Collateral Damage from Colombia's Drug War DynCorp's Drug Problem
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Comment #2 posted by Dan B on June 21, 2002 at 16:25:26 PT:
Walters told Senators that he intends to overhaul the campaign by quantitatively testing new ads before they air, targeting older teens, and shifting the campaign's focus from polydrug use to marijuana only. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Oh! That was a good one. Boy, those scary anti-marry-jew-wanna ads are going to do the trick, aren't they John Walters? That's the ticket! Pick the least toxic of all therapeutically effective substances and make that the focus of a nationwide, $1.8 billion ad campaign.He calls that an overhaul? The ads are already almost exclusively directed at cannabis, which is, in large part, the reason why they don't work!!! They are outright lies, kids know that, and because they know they are being lied to about cannabis, they reject all the information about drugs that really can kill them . . . you know, the really dangerous substances like alcohol and tobacco.Sheesh!Dan B
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Comment #1 posted by p4me on June 21, 2002 at 13:16:26 PT
snafu is all I can think to say
This is an article that appeared at the NORML website yesterday: Czar Promises Changes In Feds' Anti- Drug Media Campaign After Congressional GrillingJune 20, 2002 - Washington, DC, USAAdmits Program Isn't Working, But Demands Congress Fund It Anyway
U-Penn Review Calls Ad Campaign Greatest Failure In Public Communication Campaign HistoryWashington, DC: Drug Czar John Walters requested yesterday that members of a Senate appropriations subcommittee continue funding the White House's $1.8 billion anti-drug ad campaign - even though the ads have failed to discourage teens from using drugs, and have been associated with increasing drug use among frequent viewers.Walters told Senators that he intends to overhaul the campaign by quantitatively testing new ads before they air, targeting older teens, and shifting the campaign's focus from polydrug use to marijuana only. Walters promised drastically improved results by as early as fall 2002 if Congress okays funding for the program at present levels - a staggering $180 million per year.Members of Congress appeared skeptical of Walters' claims - particularly after a federally-commissioned review by Westat Inc. and The Annenberg Public Policy Center for the University of Pennsylvania found the five- year-old program has had no favorable effects on youths' attitudes or drug use. In some cases, authors noted that repeated viewing of the ads might even stimulate the use of certain drugs. Robert Hornik, co-investigator of the report, testified that the poor results were surprising given the history of similar public communication campaigns. "There is no other published evidence that we know about that shows a negative effect like this of a large-scale campaign," he said.NORML's Keith Stroup called the campaign's failure predictable. "As long as our government insists on pushing 'reefer madness' instead of honest information, these ads will continue to have a negative impact on teens," he said."Rather than continue down this failed path, federal officials ought to take a page from their more successful campaigns to discourage drunk driving and teen tobacco smoking - both of which we have significantly reduced in recent years. We have not achieved this by banning the use of alcohol and tobacco, or by targeting and arresting adults who use them responsibly, but through honest education campaigns. We should apply these same principles to the responsible use of marijuana."For more information, please contact Keith Stroup or Paul Armentano of NORML at (202) 483-5500. updated: Jun 20, 20021,2
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