Narconews: Bigwood - Mycoherbicide Redux
Bigwood: Mycoherbicide Redux
July 15, 2005
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A group of U.S. Congressmen are currently insisting on restarting a program to research a biological plant killer for use against drug crops - most likely in Latin America. Mycoherbicides, as the fungal sprays are called, have long been shown to do horrific damage to the environment and to be highly toxic to humans. In fact, reports Jeremy Bigwood today in The Narco News Bulletin, these members of Congress - the "Dr. Strangelove fringe" - are more extreme in their demand for further mycoherbicide research than even the most hawkish antidrug officials in the Bush and Clinton administrations.
"In 2000, there was growing criticism of the mycoherbicide plan, both in the United States and abroad, particularly in Latin America. An educational website, 'Mycoherbicide.net' was created (by this author), detailing the criticisms of the program, and an alphabet soup of U.S. NGOs such as Earth Justice, the Amazon Alliance, the Colombian Human Rights Committee, the Institute for Policy Studies, the National Organization for the Repeal of the Marijuana Laws, the Latin America Working Group, the Washington Office on Latin America, and especially the Sunshine Project added to the chorus of the opposed. Outside the U.S., besides the U.N., many countries expressed open hostility to the idea and this was reflected in their press. In the case of Latin America, the U.S.'s desire to ram mycoherbicides down the throats of the Colombians was a major topic not only in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, but 'downstream' in Brazil as well."
"But Burton and his fellow drug warriors Hastert, Souder, Hyde, Rohrabacher, and the rest of the 'mycoherbicide cheering committee,' continued to back the scheme and Plan Colombia passed in August, 2000. Then-President Clinton signed the legislation, but using some very muddy language, he "waived" - blocked - the use of mycoherbicides in Colombia. Why did Clinton stop the mycoherbicide plan? Because, months earlier, he had received a letter of warning from a Nobel Prize laureate he respected. The Nobel prizewinner stated that the use of mycoherbicides - especially in a wartime situation such as that of Colombia (or now in Afghanistan) would constitute a unilateral U.S. entrance into biological warfare. In response to the letter, Clinton ordered a National Security Council meeting to review the issue. The result of the meeting - which was also interagency - confirmed the Nobel laureate's apprehension. Clinton was not to go down in history as the U.S. President who brought biological warfare to a troubled world."
But this group of U.S. legislators, led by Indiana Republicans Dan Burton and Mark Souder are determined to give biological war against South America one more shot. They have added an amendment to the bill reauthorizing the office of the drug czar, John Walters, who himself is against mycoherbicide use. Read the whole story online, in Narco News:
From somewhere in a country called América,
The Narco News Bulletin