Colombia defies court on coca.An aerial glyphosate-based herbicide herbicide (hr`bəsīd'), chemical compound that kills plants or inhibits their normal growth. A herbicide in a particular formulation and application can be described as selective or nonselective. spraying program, part of the U.S. antinarcotics effort in Colombia, has successfully reduced that nation's hectarage of coca plants. But critics of the program say its environmental and health costs are not receiving enough attention. And although Colombia's second highest court, the Administrative Tribunal of Cundinamarca, declared in June 2003 that the spraying program was too dangerous and must be suspended until the Colombian government conducts studies to determine its environmental and health effects, the government is defying the order and has continued spraying.
Last year, Congress ordered the State Department to consult with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), independent agency of the U.S. government, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1970 to reduce and control air and water pollution, noise pollution, and radiation and to ensure the safe handling and (EPA EPA eicosapentaenoic acid.
n.pr See acid, eicosapentaenoic.
n. ) in assessing the use of glyphosate glyphosate
herbicide and desiccant for grains. Heavy doses to birds cause soft shells on their eggs. in Colombia. EPA assistant administrator Stepnen L. Johnson told the State Department that glyphosate as used in Roundup, a popular U.S. commercial product, has "no unreasonable adverse effects," but also noted that the particular glyphosate formulations being used in Colombia can cause acute eye irritation. He suggested steps be taken to mitigate drift.
Rachel Massey, a research associate at the Tufts University Tufts University, main campus at Medford, Mass.; coeducational; chartered 1852 by Universalists as a college for men. It became a university in 1955. Jackson College, formerly a coordinate undergraduate college for women, merged with the College of Liberal Arts in Global Development and Environment Institute The Global Development And Environment Institute (GDAE, pronounced “gee-day”) is a research center at Tufts University founded in 1993. GDAE works to promote a better understanding of how societies can pursue their economic and community goals in an , contends the effects of the large-scale uses and manners of delivery that are being employed in Colombia are unknown. Further, says Astrid Puentes, a Colombian lawyer now working as legal director for the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense in Oakland, California “Oakland” redirects here. For other uses, see Oakland (disambiguation).
Oakland (IPA: /ˈoʊklənd/), founded in 1852, is the eighth-largest city in the U.S. , the EPA has not certified that the particular glyphosate mixture being sprayed is being used in accordance with EPA label requirements, as Congress stipulated.
The spraying is being done by fixed-wing aircraft "Airplane" and "Aeroplane" redirect here. For other uses, see Airplane (disambiguation).
A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air craft where movement of the wings in relation to the aircraft is not used to generate lift. , resulting in imprecise applications. Massey says the spray has wrought economic damage on subsistence farmers who are growing crops near coca plants. The spray also kills native species growing nearby, she says: "There are some very rare, delicate, and valuable species that are found only, in those areas."
Puentes says that plenty of evidence suggests the spraying is also harming people. Her organization receives information and photos from nongovernmental organizations Transnational organizations of private citizens that maintain a consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Nongovernmental organizations may be professional associations, foundations, multinational businesses, or simply groups with a common interest in such as Witness for Peace, an international human rights group with an office in Colombia. "People say they're suffering from skin problems and other health impacts, especially among children," she says.
Puentes argues that the government must comply with the court order to suspend the spraying. She says the government must also assess the true environmental and health consequences of the spraying program. "One of the excuses the government mentions for not implementing these studies is [Colombia's ongoing] civil war," she says. "But the civil war does not give the government the right to harm all these innocent people, especially children. Protecting the human health and the environment and health should be the government's priority."