Source: La W Radio
The Colombian Foreign Ministry’s unlawful eavesdropping on academic research and official documents based on investigations into former contractors of Monsanto are part of the irregularities reported by the director of the Center for Security and Drug Studies at the University of the Andes, Daniel Mejia. The scholar not only questioned the limited effectiveness of spraying but the Ministry’s actions on the issue.
Speaking to www.wradio.com.com, the researcher explained that the study showed that aerial spraying campaigns with glyphosate “have very little impact” and “for every hectare sprayed the reduction of coca cultivation is 12 and 15%, so you have to spray more than nine times the same hectare to achieve a reduction.”
Mejia said spraying campaigns, in addition to having high economic costs, generate dermatological illnesses and “increase the possibility of miscarriages.”
He stressed that the spray “does not generate the desired effects,” and that’s why it is a policy that “has very poor results” on the acres sprayed.
“There is a very strong scientific basis for questioning what we are doing with the spraying of glyphosate,” he said.
The investigator reported that the Foreign Ministry tried to “intervene” to postpone publication of the study until the Court in The Hague ruled on Ecuador’s lawsuit against spraying at the border.
“There were unjust suggestions made by the Ministry suggesting to delay the study until the Court’s decision, which is an intervention in academic research. There is a problem, and we are doing nothing stop them and stop this evolution in public policies,” said Mejia, who acknowledged that the ministries of Defense and Justice were respectful of the study.
But this does not stop the complaints. Mejia revealed that the Foreign Ministry dismissed the results of the study because research on aerial spraying with the Government came from Monsanto, a company that manufactures glyphosate.
The academic said that the research that the Ministry for the Defense of Colombia had in The Hague related to Ecuador’s lawsuit came from former contractors, current contractors or people hired by Monsanto.
“What thoroughness and independence is there with research that is funded by the company that has interest that this [fumigation] is still used in Colombia?” He asked.
He said that the Foreign Ministry was advised not to use this evidence because “it would be difficult for the Court to believe that they were independent investigations.”
In the end, Colombia agreed with Ecuador to a payment of $15 million to compensate Ecuadorian farmers for aerial spraying of glyphosate on coca plantations made near the shared border between 2000 and 2007. Due to this the neighboring country [Ecuador] withdrew its lawsuit, filed in April 2008 before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.