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COLOMBIA-ECUADOR: Studies Find DNA Damage from Anti-Coca Herbicide (Monsanto's Roundup)

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 02:36 PM
Original message
COLOMBIA-ECUADOR: Studies Find DNA Damage from Anti-Coca Herbicide (Monsanto's Roundup)
Source: IPS

COLOMBIA-ECUADOR: Studies Find DNA Damage from Anti-Coca Herbicide
By Stephen Leahy

TORONTO, Jun 16 (Tierramrica) - U.S.-funded aerial spraying of coca plantations in Colombia near the Ecuador border has severely damaged the DNA of local residents, a new study has found.

Blood samples from 24 Ecuadorians living within three kilometres of the northern border had 600 to 800 percent more damage to their chromosomes than people living 80 km away, found scientists from the Pontificia Catholic University in Quito, Ecuador.

The border residents who were tested had been exposed to the common herbicide glyphosate -- sold by the U.S. agribusiness giant Monsanto under the brand Roundup --during a series of aerial sprayings by the Colombian government begun in 2000, part of the anti-drugs and counterinsurgency Plan Colombia, financed by Washington.

The Ecuadorians suffered a variety of ailments immediately following the spraying, including intestinal pain and vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches, dizziness, numbness, burning of eyes or skin, blurred vision, difficulty in breathing and rashes, says the study, which is to be published in the journal Genetics and Molecular Biology.


Read more: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=38205
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. Genocide.
It's nothing less. All to keep a small minority of "free" individuals in the U.S. from indulging in a recreational drug and give the US/CIA a reason to have a strong foothold in South America.

:grr:
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. well it is not a small minority of "free" individuals in the us
there are still huge, huge, huge numbers of crack addicts and dealers around here, it is destroying our ability to rebuild on the gulf coast, it is in particular a scourge that afflicts the black and poor and working class communities, i know more addicts myself than i like to admit -- unlike the old heroin scourge of the 60s, cocaine mostly doesn't kill, so these addicts in my own age group (middle age, 40s and 50s) are still around destroying their families and their communities (reminds me a bit of the old song, they say it will kill you, but they don't say when -- it would almost do less harm to the families and communities if it killed faster)

this product can't be allowed to continue to destroy thousands of lives and hundreds of communities

i don't agree w. spraying huge areas of land in someone else's country but at some point we have got to start doing something real about the importers and profiteers, maybe the cia should hire assassins and simply take out the heads of the cartels one by one, i would certainly support that -- except i fear that the cia itself and other gov't entities are getting $$$ from this industry also and this is why we only see the poor targeted and the rich profiteers going unpunished

crack/cocaine is truly destroying the deep south, if it is a "small" minority involved elsewhere, well, great, i still don't see why our devastated areas should continue to be devastated by this product

pretending it is a "small" problem of "free" individuals won't convince anyone of your side, is what i'm saying -- no addict is free, they are a slave to their addiction forever, that's the whole definition of addiction if you stop and think about it

and i do oppose spraying herbicide by airplane on anyone anywhere ever

but we need to sit down and figure out real alternatives, dismissing the size of the problem is just insulting to our intelligence
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. Don't get me wrong...
I'm not promoting cocaine use. Far from it, I think we need intensive education/rehabilitation for addicts rather than prosecution/incarceration regarding drugs like cocaine, meth, heroin, etc. I know the stats regarding the percentage of the prison population there because of drug use, etc.

Simply put, I was just making the point that murdering the Columbian/Equadorian population with herbicides to "protect" the relatively small number of Americans (percentage-wise) from Columbian coca products is tantamount to genocide.

The entire "war on drugs" is a sham and is criminal.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. letting the drug run free is genocide on poor americans
as i said in the other post, come live here for awhile and then tell me again how it is a minority problem affecting only a few
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #24
33. Sorry.
Edited on Sat Jun-16-07 11:26 PM by silverweb
The reasons for the scourge in this country need to be addressed and they are many.

Poisoning the land and the people in other nations does nothing to address the problem here, but just compounds the misery.
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High Plains Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #24
52. Whew, that's real hyperbole.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #24
58. Your posts imply that you DEFEND this poisoning. Is that so? -nt
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #7
21. So stop treating it like a law enforcement issue and treat it as a health issue.
Take the $40 Billion we spend a year on the "drug war"- most of it aimed at pot smoking, mind you- and funnel it into treatment on demand.

"Can't be allowed"- prohibition doesn't work. It doesn't work. If people want a product, people will find a way to get the product. It will NOT go away. The Netherlands, which has a harm reduction approach to hard drugs, doesn't have any higher rates of addiction than we do. Maybe the answer is to take the criminal gangs out of the equation.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. treatment doesn't work, how many recovered crackheads do you know? any?
the recovery from this poison is what, something like 5 percent, most of the folks i know who "recover" may stay away for a couple years -- one of my high school buddies got away from it for three years -- but in the end it gets them back

crack is a terrible addiction and it pretty much never lets go, ever

never mind that it IS a law enforcement issue when the sellers are gunning each other down in the public streets and not caring what bystanders might get hurt along the way, i've had bullets in my own house from crack dealers even tho i've never smoked the garbage and i'm not the only one

this isn't just a health issue, it IS a law enforcement issue, it poisons the brain and the people cooking and selling the garbage turn into something they never wanted to be

if prohibition doesn't work, then there is nothing left but a singapore-style concept of executing everyone who uses or sells this crap, this ain't the netherlands, nor is it a drug like heroin that quietly puts the troubled soul to sleep

come live down here for awhile, come collect a few bulletholes in your house, this is not a victimless crime, this is truly destroying our society and cheap platitudes about the netherlands aren't helping anything, they just make those of us who have to deal w. this situation feel completely abandoned by the left

the reason the talk about "war on drugs" has any relevance is because it IS a war, a hot war, a shooting war, with bullets in our communities and in our houses

we've got to deal w. the world based on what it is, not on what we wish it is

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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Treatment doesn't work? How will we know until we quit treating a person's
private Medical issues as public crimes?

If they can't get clean why not let them go down to the RX show their ID and get a clean measured dose and pay taxes on it?

Why do you think it is better to throw lives away on a criminal approach that has been proved not only to not work but too be seriously harmful?

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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 02:20 AM
Response to Reply #26
46. I have that poster on ignore
Validation. They're still a congential idiot.
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reprobate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #26
50. Punishment is the 'Strict Father' conservative frame.


It implies that the problem lies with the addicted person for not having the self discipline to stay away from the drug in the first place. Once again the conservative blames the victim.

The 'Strict Father' frame has shown itself not to work in any other way. It's why the republicans are in such disarray now.

Maybe soon the progressive 'Nurturent Parent' will take over. Then maybe we'll get a handle on the problem and start treating it as the medical problem it is, and the "War on Drugs" will finally fall down one of those memory holes we're so good at as Americans.
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Webster Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #23
29. You do realize that legalization would stop the shooting...right?
Legalization and education is the only logical solution.

The effects of the laws against these drugs are far worse than the effects of the drugs.

The U.S. has absolutely no right to spray poison on these people and their land and water.

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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #23
34. So then why do the VAST MAJORITY of "Drug War" expenditures go towards fighting pot smoking?
Edited on Sat Jun-16-07 11:28 PM by impeachdubya
Rates of recovery from addiction across the board are shitty; perhaps we should go back to alcohol prohibition, as well?

But yes, there ARE people who recover from crack addiction, and cocaine addiction. Just as there are people who recover from alcoholism. But I've never met an alcoholic who thought a 20 year jail sentence for possession of a bottle of Jack Daniels would have 'solved' his or her alcohol addiction. Long prison sentences destroy lives, too.

You accuse me of "cheap platitudes" about the Netherlands, yet you engage in some sick "hang 'em all" fantasizing about Singapore. Nice, real nice. If that's your ideal way of handling things; killing everyone who decides to ingest a chemical you don't like- there's probably not a lot you and I have to say to each other.

As for the sellers shooting each other, Al Capone -speaking of alcohol prohibition- had a gang with tommyguns, too. The violence was a function of prohibition, not of the drug itself.

The shit you describe, speaking of "the way the world is", remember, is WITH a $40 Billion dollar/year "war on drugs", WITH ridiculous mandatory minimums, with a massive, bloated prison-industrial complex and DEA gravy train. Short of, yes, killing every drug user, there's really not too many ways our Drug War could be MORE draconian. And it has provided (along with its new kid brother, the "War on Terror") a convenient excuse for government to nullify the Bill of Rights in the process. But that's how things ARE NOW, and it doesn't sound to me from the situation you describe that it's working terribly well. If the Netherlands have equal or lesser rates of addiction and handle it with a harm reduction strategy, how precisely does suggesting their methods as an alternative to our idiotic fucking "law and order" hardon strategy amount to "cheap platitudes"?

Your rationale that "Sure, it's bad, but everything would get worse if we weren't fighting this war that we're obviously losing".. does that remind you of any other current event situation?

What we're doing isn't working, and as angry as it may make you, a product large numbers of people want is NOT going to go away. It's WAY PAST time to rethink our strategy.
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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #23
42. OK, that's your opinion
Edited on Sun Jun-17-07 08:18 PM by ProudDad
So tell us how the fuck has "Law Enforcement" done with diminishing the problem??? They keep trying the same bullshit year and year and the "drug war" keeps getting hotter and hotter.

"the reason the talk about "war on drugs" has any relevance is because it IS a war, a hot war, a shooting war, with bullets in our communities and in our houses"

I LIVED IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD FOR THE LAST 4 1/2 years. I know this subject, probably better than you could. Although, we haven't had a dead body out front for about a year and a half now. It's been at least as long since any bullets hit our house.

IT'S THE PHONY "WAR ON DRUGS", driving up the prices of drugs, that causes this shooting war!! It's NOT THE MERE FACT that a large number of folks want to experiment with mind altering substances and that some of those substances are "illegal" and others, the most destructive, are "legal".

You've got to finally understand that the "law enforcement", prohibition approach HAS NOT AND CANNOT WORK!!!

That's facing reality!!!

DECRIMINALIZE and use just 1/4 of that wasted money on treatment and you'd find that the problem would dwindle down to nearly nothing!!!



"this ain't the netherlands, nor is it a drug like heroin that quietly puts the troubled soul to sleep"

This statement proves to me that you don't know much about the Netherlands, the phony "war on drugs" nor about crack cocaine... Step away from the MSM and do some research and study on the subject, ok? :hi:
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High Plains Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #23
51. Your hot, shooting drug war is because of prohibition.
Drug dealers having street gun battles? Doesn't happen anymore with legal alcohol, does it?

Do you think no one else knows what crack is like? You've got to be kidding. We've been dealing with crack under prohibition for more than 20 years now. Crackheads are a problem, but they are a small minority of the people who ever use cocaine, even of those who have ever used crack. Crafting a drug policy based on the worst losers is like crafting an alcohol policy based on those winos who hang out behind liquor stores. You would punish all of us because a few can't keep it together.

How's it working so far?
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harun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #23
62. Samual Jackson (n/t)
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Wise Doubter Donating Member (458 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #21
30. "take the "criminal" gangs out of the equation."...
...and then what, corporatize drugs ?? Isn`t that the same thing ?? :banghead:
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #30
35. I don't see Pfizer and Merck doing drive-bys on each other.
:shrug:
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Wise Doubter Donating Member (458 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 01:50 AM
Response to Reply #35
45. Pfizer and Merck are not doing drive-bys on each other...
they`re doing them on the american people - actually they don`t have to drive at all..We go to them: Anyone who has ever filled a prescription.

Taxes, and LEGAL market competition seems like an option we should try.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. I would agree with you there. At the very least, legalize, regulate and tax pot.
I also happen to think that a SPHC system would put all of us, the U.S. citizenry, in a far stronger bargaining position with the pharmaceutical companies.
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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #30
43. NO CORPORATE DRUGS!!!!
The government should be the SOLE SOURCE for "hard drugs" and marijuana should be for all intents and purposes LEGALIZED (completely legalized for personal use) and regulated just like tobacco and alcohol. If corporations sell pot -- HUGE TAX and the money used for treatment programs...

And no, I don't use any drugs OR alcohol. I realize what damaging bullshit the phony "war on drugs" is and that it must be STOPPED!
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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #7
41. Fact and Reality Check Time
"huge, huge, huge numbers of crack addicts and dealers around here"

Compared to the total number of people -- it's still a minuscule number of folks. The MSM is creating this bullshit impression -- trying to scare you -- in order to sell you the crap their advertisers have BOUGHT THEM to sell you...

"maybe the cia should hire assassins and simply take out the heads of the cartels one by one"

For every "cartel head" those incompetent boobs take out, ten will take their place.

Attacking a DEMAND driven product on the supply side is the height of insanity...the assholes have been "attacking the supply" with their PHONY "war on drugs" for at least 75 years now and it keeps getting worse. The ONLY real solution is decriminalization and treatment ON DEMAND!!!

"no addict is free, they are a slave to their addiction forever"

As one who has had substance abuse problems in the past and who has counseled THOUSANDS of people in recovery group settings I rise to challenge this assertion.

And addict is NOT doomed to be "a slave to their addiction forever".

Proper treatment WORKS. Proper treatment must include a spectrum of approaches primarily designed to foster an understanding of the addiction process, understanding and treatment of the underlying personal, psychological and physical problems of each individual and appropriate support -- 12 step for those who need a lot of structure and a religious environment, other appropriate methods like Lifering Secular Recovery (www.unhooked.com ), Smart, etc. for those who prefer a more adult, personally responsible approach to peer support.

Treatment ON DEMAND and decriminalization WOULD nearly ELIMINATE the real problems associated with the rather normal desire of people to experiment with mind altering substances and behaviors.

Drug "addiction" IS NOT the big problem...the phony "war on drugs" and the criminalization of SOME users IS THE BIG PROBLEM.
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. Important finding
Of course it takes foreign researchers to even ask such questions. The US is so tied to corporations our research is becoming useless.
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rockedthevoteinMA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
3. That's absolutely awful.
No one realizes how potentially harmful Round Up is. Everyone seems to think it's harmless.

It's horrible how these corporations hide the truth - and are allowed to. They are given a free pass from our government.
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. The US has a history of selling harmful chemicals to the developing world
Pesticides that are banned in the US because of their environmental and health dangers get sold to other countries by US companies. Then they come right back into the US on our imported food.

Tucker
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
18. US neighborhoods are awash in
Roundup. Highways too!
Heck - we now have tomatoes that cannot be grown without the stuff.
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #18
27. Question
we now have tomatoes that cannot be grown without the stuff.

I hadn't heard about this. Can you elaborate a bit? What is it about this particular tomato that it won't grow without Roundup?




Cher
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #27
38. Genetically modified
Edited on Sun Jun-17-07 06:52 PM by KT2000
crops that are called Roundup Ready.

Roundup ready crops contain more of an enzyme that resists the toxic effects of Roundup. Purchasers are required to use Roundup on these crops - the whole plant is drenched with it as opposed to spraying around the plants. They are not to use any other herbicides.
Roundup is the cash cow for Monsanto and their patent has run out. This is a way to keep their brand and not the other versions that people will manufacture, as the #1 seller.

I think I did misspeak - the current roundup ready crops are: corn, soy, cotton, canola, alfalfa and sorghum. Tomatoes have been genetically modified in many ways but apparently not with the Roundup mechanism yet. I'll do some more searching.

Good books; Against the Grain by Marc Lappe
Seeds of Deception by Jeffrey Smith www.seedsofdeception.com

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Monsanto_and...

http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/1997/01/brokaw....

* According to the Cornell website, there are currently no GE tomatoes on the market. They have failed for several reasons including economic. Several companies are still working on some GE tomatoes though.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #38
53. They're not required to purchase Roundup at all.
The crops grow just fine without the Roundup. The whole point of it is, the farmer can spray the crops with Roundup, or the generic variety, and it will kill the weeds without kill the crops.

Geez.
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #53
57. The increase cost
Edited on Mon Jun-18-07 02:59 PM by KT2000
of Roundup Ready seeds is based on the fact that it is supposed to be a no-till plant. Instead of preparing the soil to reduce weeds, the herbicide is used instead.

Please remember that "the crop" is food. Spraying the crop is spraying the food.

Please pay attention to the way these products are marketed, especially in foreign countries. The farmer takes out a loan for the seeds AND the Roundup, purchasing them at the same time.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #57
60. Yes, exactly.
That's completely different than what you posted above.

"Please pay attention to the way these products are marketed, especially in foreign countries."

They're marketed as being round-up resistant. That is, if you buy the seeds, you won't have to till your soil.

"The farmer takes out a loan for the seeds AND the Roundup, purchasing them at the same time."

What's your point?
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #60
61. Roundup is to be used on the crops
When purchasers of these seeds are required to agree to certain terms, such as not saving the seeds for the next year, I wonder if there is a statement to the effect that Monsanto cannot be held liable for crop failures if products other than Monsanto's Roundup is used. Hmmmmmm...
Frankly though, Monsanto is pretty good at avoiding liability period.

Sales people will likely work hard to make sure the farmers use Roundup instead of other brands as well. (sales people are allowed more freedom of expression that others speaking directly for the corporation)
A film about the sale of these seeds in India will be eye opening for you if you do not understand what I am saying. Check your tv listings.



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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #61
63. Monsanto's patent on glyphosate expired in 2000
Edited on Tue Jun-19-07 01:54 PM by NickB79
So farmers can use whatever glyphosate-based herbicide they want. Just like there are generic drugs, there is "generic" Round-Up substitutes that work just as well for a cheaper price.

"When purchasers of these seeds are required to agree to certain terms, such as not saving the seeds for the next year, I wonder if there is a statement to the effect that Monsanto cannot be held liable for crop failures if products other than Monsanto's Roundup is used. Hmmmmmm..."

I didn't see a statement like that on the contract my dad signed this spring, but maybe it was in the fine print. Even if it was there, so what? Generic glyphosate sprays are chemically the same as Round-Up, so as long as you calculate the percentage of glyphosate/gallon in your spray properly it gives the same effect.

"Sales people will likely work hard to make sure the farmers use Roundup instead of other brands as well."

Yes, sometimes their sales techniques are pretty hard-pressure. But farmers are not stupid, and my dad and a lot of our neighbors have been giving them the cold shoulder and buying generic herbicides now that they are available. Family farmers as a breed are stubborn, strong-headed people; you have to be to survive for as long as they have. If they don't want what you're selling, they won't buy it.
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #38
56. My dad grows Round Up Ready corn and soybeans
They do not REQUIRE Round Up to grow. They will germinate and grow just fine without it.

"Purchasers are required to use Roundup on these crops - the whole plant is drenched with it as opposed to spraying around the plants."

First, the fields are SPRAYED, not drenched, because 1) only a low concentration of Round Up is required to kill weed species, and 2) herbicides are expensive. Secondly, in the past you could never even spray around conventional corn or soybeans with Round Up; the drift of the spray would get on them and kill them.

Instead, my dad and my grandfather used atrazine as a herbicide. If you've never encountered the stuff, count yourself lucky. It was far, far more toxic than Round Up and took much longer to break down in the soil. It was one of the chemicals all farmers would have their drinking wells tested for on an annual basis, because it would contaminate groundwater fairly regularly. It is a potent carcinogen, and one of the chemicals proposed to be responsible for the high rates of deformed frogs in the Midwest.

Is Round Up perfectly safe? No, it can still be dangerous in large doses, as we've now seen from the Columbian people getting sprayed regularly with the crap. However, it's a huge step forward from what farmers used to use.
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #56
59. As I said to another poster
The supposed advantage of Roundup ready seeds is that they are a no-till crop and the herbicide is used instead.
I would say that aerial spraying of food crops places the herbicide ON the food/plant. I would call it drenched.
Roundup is everywhere in our environment and it is creating resistance so that stronger herbicides are needed for the super weeds that have grown up where it is used.

Safety testing of the herbicide has been woefully inadequate. It was just a year or two ago that the entire Roundup product was even tested. All other research had been done on the glyphosate alone. They found serious problems.
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. No herbicide is harmless
Edited on Sat Jun-16-07 05:49 PM by NickB79
But Round Up is a hell of a lot better than the atrazine my dad used to use on the farm. The problem here isn't just the herbicide itself, but the way it is being used. My God, the local farmers are being sprayed on a weekly basis by a form of Round Up far more concentrated than anything used in the US. Any number of normally non-harmful chemicals could cause illness at obscenely high dosages.
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SunDrop23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
4. It's times like this when I am so ashamed of...
what this country has turned into and ashamed that I have to carry an American passport, as I routinely travel to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
5. This is the same "Roundup" being sprayed somewhere on your street, folks.
Maybe even your own yard?
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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. same Roundup, different strength
I read that it wa like 20xs stronger than Commercial US product.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. The people who are trying to grow food there aren't too impressed!
Here's what it does to their corn:


Impressions of their Roundup world, as captured in a child's artwork:





""Fumigations ruin our food crops, our water supplies, our soil, kill our farm animals, and cause human health problems", a Putumayo farmer told us. This farmer has filed a complaint under the US Compensation Program, hoping to receive money for his wrongly fumigated peppercorn crop.



This peppercorn project was funded by USAID. The fumigations were funded by Plan Colombia. Both are paid for by US tax dollars.



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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
8. The "War on Drugs" needs to be seen for what it is.
And what it is is not a war on drugs, but merely another tool for the viciously aggressive sharks in society to attempt to control that society and to "leave their marks."

Until we actually begin to tell the truth and accept the truth about ourselves, the horrors inflicted upon a peaceable society will continue, relatively unabated, for ever and ever.

Without a "frontier" for the meanest and nastiest to expand into, and barring some fortuitous accident that allows control over the worst elements, the danger and damage must turn inward and the self-ummolation will continue.

Who, pray tell, will bell the cat?
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MrPrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
10. Plan Colombia?
U.S. Contractors Thrive in Colombia

U.S. defense contractors are receiving nearly half the money allotted by Washington to fight cocaine trafficking and leftist rebels in Colombia, throwing into doubt their mission to train Colombians to replace them.

When U.S. defense contractors were first hired by the U.S. government in 2000 to help the Colombian government under the multibillion-dollar Plan Colombia aid package, American officials assumed the contractors would be gradually replaced as they trained Colombians.

Forbes

Clinton's 'Plan Colombia': Disturbing Questions Concerning The Real US Agenda
August 23, 2000

"...Ironically, with Clinton keen to enhance the image of his presidency, Plan Colombia may leave a stain on his legacy and present a poisoned chalice for his successor. It also poses a problem for his European allies who will need to unite if they are not to be dragged into the Colombian quagmire.

Far from helping Colombia to "strengthen its democracy", Clinton's policies have done the opposite. The Pentagon has formed an alliance with an army that refuses to disengage from drug trafficking and from the notorious "paramilitaries" - Colombian jargon for right-wing death squads. "Army watched gunmen kill Colombian peasants" is how Reuters headed its report of last month's massacre in La Unin. This is the village where an Irish priest, Father Brendan Forde, has courageously decided to stay, despite threats from the paramilitaries to kill more members of his "peace community"..."

Common Dreams

Plan Colombia

In 1999, Colombia became the leading recipient of US military and police assistance, replacing Turkey (Israel and Egypt are in a separate category). Colombia receives more US military aid than the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean combined. The total for 1999 reached about $300 million, along with $60 million in arms sales, approximately a threefold increase from 1998. The figure is scheduled to increase still more sharply with the anticipated passage of some version of Clintons Colombia Plan, submitted to Congress in April 2000, which called for a $1.6 billion emergency aid package for two years. Through the 1990s, Colombia has been by far the leading recipient of US military aid in Latin America, and has also compiled by far the worst human rights record, in conformity with a well-established and long-standing correlation.1

In theory, Plan Colombia is a two-year Colombian government program of $7.5 billion, with the US providing the military muscle and token funds for other purposes, and some $6 billion from the Colombian government, Europe, the IMF, and the World Bank for social and economic programs that Colombia is to prepare. According to non-US diplomats, the draft of Plan Colombia was written in English, not Spanish. The military program (arms, training, intelligence infrastructure) was in place in late 1999, but the Colombian govern-ment has yet to present a coherent social investment program as of mid-2000, and few governments are willing to climb aboard what is widely perceived as an American project to clean up its backyard, by means that are familiar to those who do not choose what has been called intentional ignorance.2

Rogue States, 2000 - Noam Chomsky

Colombia praises President Clinton during NYC ceremony
June 9, 2007

"...Clinton urged Congress to consider the strides Colombia has made, even as fellow Democrats threatened to reduce aid to Washington's closest ally in Latin America.

"So those of us who are trying to help, those of us who want to continue progress, owe it to our friends in Colombia to know what they've been through, and to express a little humility in the face of people who have already lost so much, and who are working so hard to build a better tomorrow," Clinton said...."

NewsDay
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Bill Clinton's Plan Colombia is an anti-insurgency and death squad program
wrapped inside an anti-drug program.

Bill Clinton kept the School of Assassins open at Fort Benning, and he funneled money to death squads in Colombia, all the while touting Plan Colombia as a keystone of the War on Drugs.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #12
25. oh brother here it comes
i should have known, it's all caused by the clenis, as per usual :eyes:

did you ever stop and think one of the reasons clinton is respected by the black community is that he was not happy to sit on his hands and profit a la reagan/bush from the crack cocaine plague?
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #25
36. Your hero Bill Clinton, is a human rights abuser and criminal in Latin America
Edited on Sun Jun-17-07 12:08 AM by IndianaGreen
Keeping the School of the Americas open, with a new name, was one of many shameful episodes of the Clinton Administration. The only reason Big Dog looks good is because Bush is so bad. This is like saying Kaganovich looked good because he replaced Stalin.

Published on Monday, March 5, 2001 in the Toronto Globe & Mail

Plan Colombia

War in the Neighborhood
by John R. MacArthur


Bill Clinton and now, apparently, George W. Bush, view Colombia as an "asset" to be protected or augmented, not a country with people and a complicated history.

Mr. Clinton evidently thought a modest $1.3-billion (U.S.) investment in military equipment and training might fix Colombia. But so far the anti-coca herbicide campaign looks like Vietnam (as in "destroying the village to save it"; when beans grow next to coca, both are obliterated) more than it looks like post-Cold War "nation-building." Colombia is blessed with an abundance of fertile land, and the notion of bombing plants that are so easily replaced has an insane quality worthy of the weirdest Pentagon "counterinsurgency" theories of the 1950s and 1960s. The surreal nature of Mr. Clinton's "Plan Colombia" was only heightened when the outgoing president commuted the prison sentence of Carlos Vignali, a major league cocaine salesman whose father, Horacio, gave $160,000 to various Democratic politicians.

President Bush seems more inclined to acknowledge the crucial role of American consumers in the narcotics trade; he even dared to say so out loud to Mexico's President Vicente Fox. But there has been no indication that he plans to leave Colombia to the drug cartels, Sureshot, and his right-wing counterpart, Carlos Castano, and President Pastrana.

I've never fully understood the American impulse to "reform" other countries by bombing or starving them (Vietnam, Nicaragua, Kosovo/Serbia), massacring their natives (the Philippines) or simply invading and overthrowing their governments (Cuba, Grenada and Panama). When not behaving self-righteously, ours can be a generous and intelligent nation -- witness the Marshall Plan -- yet we rarely choose the generous or intelligent option.

No better symbol points up this national contradiction than the hideous five-year-old U.S. embassy in Bogota, known by locals as "the bunker." I saw the old abandoned U.S. embassy in Saigon before it was torn down, and the two buildings share a bomb-proof ugliness that seems designed to demoralize, not uplift. Yet, from behind the bullet-proof glass on the ground floor, I heard the old-fashioned flat-accented courtesy I associate with the best of the American spirit: "Mr. MacArthur, here's the visa for that beautiful baby. We're sorry you had to wait so long; there were so many Peruvian refugee cases today."

I wondered: With all our money, can't we figure out a way to help more Colombian babies and their mothers, instead of destroying their crops and arming their government for another round of useless killing?

http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0305-02.htm
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diamidue Donating Member (606 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 11:05 PM
Response to Reply #12
32. Thank you.
This is NOT about saving Americans from the scurge of drugs. Never was.

The whole thing, while no surprise, makes me sick and ashamed. Thank God for the internet, because these kinds of things will be harder and harder to hide from now on.

Those poor people.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. Argh! Your last article! Uribe knows the Democratic Congress has put things on "hold"
until they've learned more about the news FINALLY starting to come out about massive connections being drawn between the death squads and right-wing members of the Colombian Congress, going as far as Uribe's cabinet, itself, and including some Colombian governors.

Uribe screwed up when he offered a sweet deal to the death squads, inviting them to make token confessions of their crimes against humanity, genocide, slaughter of peasants, using CHAIN SAWS, even, to torment, terrorize, devastate, and receiving light slaps on the wrist with very light sentences for all the massacres, and theft of land from peasants, even wealthier farmers. (Testimony has been taken from a former death squad member that they even rounded up groups of peasants, and keep them locked in rooms, for days, while they use them, one by one, as training dummies for new recruits to learn how to saw up living people.)

An article recently quoted a landowner who said they told him, in a very typical "deal" that he could sell them his large ranch or he could pass on it and they would make arrangements with his widow. Some of the land the death squads have taken in these "deals" has been confiscated PERMANENTLY by Uribe's government, and will never be returned to the former owners, even though it was taken through coersion.

These same death squad people who have testified to participating in intimidating voters, controling elections, making deals with politicians, carrying out assassinations for politicians on their opponents, have started naming names, and have implicated MANY right-wing politicans and there is no way of knowing, at this point, where it will end, if the parties to be named can't find a way to shut them up.

It has been reported that the paramilitaries (death squad members) who are in prison now are afraid that they will be killed in there because of what they know.

They have already given testimony on huge American multi-nationals, like Chiquita, Coca-Cola, and Drummond Coal Company, from Birmingham,Alabama.

After the Democrats in Congress refused to rubber stamp Bush's plans for the next Free Trade deal, and the allocation of a huge budget, and have said they want to think this through, Uribe decided to go for the world-famous "END AROUND" play, and go right to Bill Clinton, the ally to Colombia's former President Pastrana, with whom he signed the first Plan Colombia deal. A DU'er, I think "1932," discovered Uribe has chosen to use a P.R. firm which works currently for Hillary Clinton to handle Colombia's load of P.R. while they try to get their satisfaction now.

How dirty can people GET? If our Democrats in Congress bend over for this, it's ALL looking bad.
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MrPrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. You mean this scumbag?
Edited on Sat Jun-16-07 05:54 PM by MrPrax

...who, as Time described as "master of the message" doesn't give a fuck who he does business with at Burson-Marsteller (sourcewatch)

A Top Clinton Aide Draws Criticism From Unions

The presidents of two large labor unions have written to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to complain that Mark Penn, her pollster and chief strategist, is chief executive of a public relations firm that is helping a company fight a unionization drive.

In the letter sent Friday, which a labor official released yesterday, James P. Hoffa, president of the Teamsters, and Bruce Raynor, president of Unite Here, wrote that they did not want to see Mrs. Clinton or the Democratic Party embarrassed by the anti-union activities of Mr. Penns firm, Burson-Marsteller, one of the nations leading public relations companies.

If Hillary is pro-worker and pro-union, she will certainly take steps to rein in Mr. Penn, Mr. Hoffa said in an interview. He cannot serve two masters, working for a pro-union candidate and working for anti-union companies.

CommonDreams

More grist at Labor is Not a Commodity

"...A business coalition including one of labor's best friends, Wal-Mart, is also actively lobbying for the US-Colombia FTA and even plans to launch an advertising campaign to support the deal. (By the way, Wal-Mart is the biggest retailer of cut flower exports from Colombia to the US.)..."

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #17
39. Oh, jeez! Thanks for the info. Unbelievable. n/t
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
13. And guess who opposes the murderous and genocidal U.S. "war on drugs"? That "dictator"
Edited on Sat Jun-16-07 04:06 PM by Peace Patriot
Hugo Chavez, and the vast population that supports his policies of independence and self-determination in the Andes region, and the other democratically elected leaders in nearby Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina, also with huge support among their people, and the growing democracy movements in Paraguay and Peru as well.

You wonder why Hugo Chavez is demonized by the Bush State Dept. and our corporate-controlled press? This is why. He is the leader of the opposition to U.S. massacre of union organizers, small farmers and leftists, to U.S. multinational poisoning of the land, and to rule by fascist juntas and rightwing paramilitaries funded by our taxpayer dollars in the name of the phony, PRO-drug trafficking U.S. "war on drugs." Cocaine imports from Colombia to the U.S. have dramatically increased in 2005 and 2006 BECAUSE OF the U.S. "war on drugs" which punishes and poisons small local coca leaf producers (who have been growing coca leaves for thousands of years for local use in the frigid, high altitude conditions of the Andes mountains), and FAVORS large-scale drug traffickers that have been linked to the Colombian chief of the military, the former Colombian intelligence chief and many politicians in the Uribe government. One of the goals of the multinational corporations who are behind all this crime is to use of these poisoned lands for biofuel production (another assault on the environment), and to push all the small farmers out and crowd the poor into urban centers as an easily exploitable slave labor force. They also want unfettered access to the other rich natural resources in the Andes region: oil, gas, minerals, forests and fresh water.

The Bolivarian revolution is determined to put these Dark Lord forces in their place--to push the worst of them out of the region: the U.S. military and associated fascist thugs, murderers and drug traffickers, the World Bank/IMF (the loan sharks of the fascists and the corporations), and corporations that do not respect the rights of the people in the region and do not agree to fair trade deals that include labor and environmental protections and fair taxation.

Chavez is not a "dictator." He is expressing the democratically arrived at policies of the people of Venezuela and the people of the Andes region. Bush/Cheney are the "dictators"--or rather their Dark Lord billionaire CEO puppetmasters. We are getting "the Big Lie" in our corporate press about Chavez. The opposite of the truth. They try to push our buttons--about Latin American dictators and juntas, and armed leftist revolutionaries, of the past, and about Stalinist models of forced communalization--to make us think that Chavez is bad. They couldn't persuade Venezuelans of that (or most South Americans) in their violent 2002 military coup attempt, or by any other means (oil professionals' strike, U.S.-funded recall election, USAID/NED-organized rightwing student protests, etc.), and so now they are fomenting violence and trouble on the Colombian borders of Venezuela and Ecuador, with paramilitary incursions and toxic spraying over the border, to try another tactic of destabilization.

It is so transparent. Bush calls Chavez a "dictator." Bush himself, of course, was never elected--as Chavez has been, repeatedly. Bush tries to militarize the region with billions of U.S. tax dollars--in the name of the "war on drugs"--which are bled off to rightwing paramilitaries with close ties to the Colombian government, while claiming that Chavez is the problem (the Chavez government has, in fact, significantly reduced military expenditures) and vilifying Chavez as an evildoer (no evidence of it whatsoever--the "Big Lie"), thus to put the citizens of the U.S. to sleep, while the REAL return of "authoritarian" rule to South America is plotted--and paid for by US.

And the goal behind it all, as in everything the Bush Junta does: vast, unregulated, out-of-control corporate exploitation. And it ain't just the Bush Junta--we need to keep an eye on our Democratic leaders as well, too many of whom have the same goals, and also hold them accountable, if we can, and, at the least, get educated on these matters and don't make it easy for them, by being uninformed and "head in the sand."

The Ecuadorans who have suffered DNA damage from this dreadful program of poisoning farm land are just a few among untold numbers of victims of U.S. interference in Latin America. Their tragic fate is blood on the hands of any of us who prefer to remain stupid and uninvolved. This is happening in our own hemisphere, to our fellow and sister Americans to the south. And it's time for us not only to understand what our government is up to, but also to find the ways to restore democracy HERE, so that we can exercise rightful control of our own government and of U.S.-based global corporate predators, who are killing people and trying to destroy democratic governments in South America.



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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. Viva Chavez! n/t
:-)
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
20. If there's a corporate hell....
Monsanto will be one of the first tenants.
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David Zephyr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
22. Perhaps Halliburton can buy them cheap and then arrange a taxpayer payoff.
It's the great favor Dick Cheney as CEO did for Dresser Industries on the asbestos litigation exposure. Dresser was where Poppy Bush and Prescott had their fortunes.

People die and the Bush clan just gets richer.
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
28. But at least we're winning the War on Drugs
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
31. Street Price of Cocaine Falls from $200 to $20 / Gram in the Last Decade
"Moreover, the (Wall Street) Journal reports that a gram of cocaine, which sold for around $200 barely a decade ago, can be bought these days for as little as $20."

Quote from "Up and Down Wall Street", column by Alan Abelson, June 18, 2007, Barron's
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burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 01:25 AM
Response to Original message
37. DUH!
Any large application of a poison does damge, not only to humans but the environment, e.g., Agent Oranfe in Vietnam, bees dying, etc.
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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
40. I'll take the opportunity to say it again
Phony fucking "war on drugs"!!!

One of the BIGGEST and most deadly scams perpetrated on the world's population in the 20th Century!!!
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Barrett808 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
44. "We will spray and spray."
I recall Uribe saying that soon after he was elected.
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rec_report Donating Member (783 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 03:19 AM
Response to Original message
47. Why aren't the spraying airships shot down? That's the only way to stop...
Edited on Mon Jun-18-07 03:30 AM by rec_report
the corpora-terrorists from poisoning the food supply.
Cheers,
Polar Bear
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High Plains Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #47
55. They sometimes are.
Three American mercenaries flying one of those planes have been POWs with the FARC for several years now.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
49. Hmm. That's a pretty small sample.
They're also showing a correlation, not causation.

Also, glyphosates been studied for decades now, and it's been shown not to be genotoxic to humans.

:shrug:
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MAGICBULLET Donating Member (606 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
54. similar thing happened in Nicaragua
4 or 5 years ago a Nicaraguan judge ordered Shell Oil Co, Dow Chemical and Standard Fruit Co. to pay a total of US$490 million to 583 banana workers allegedly affected by the banned pesticide Nemagon.

<http://www.nicanet.org/labor/nemegon-follow-up.php >
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