Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

Health Supreme

News Blog

Site Map





Food for Thought


Human Potential






The Media

War Crimes


Articles Archive


See also:


Communication Agents:

INACTIVE  Ivan Ingrilli
  Chris Gupta
  Tom Atlee
INACTIVE  Emma Holister
  Rinaldo Lampis
  Steve Bosserman
  CA Journal


Robin Good's
Web sites:












The Individual - Human Ability:


Society - Politics:






August 25, 2003

Prohibition, crime and the environment

Drug prohibition is one of those "good ideas" which have turned on the world to give us widespread criminality and - now it seems - also environmental destruction. Prohibition is born of the desire to enforce moral standards, "thou shalt not use certain substances" in this case, through criminal laws.

The big drug runners - CIA and other secret services - are easily escaping prohibition and are using the fact that drugs are illegal to eliminate any local competition. The Columbian coca production is one such "local initiative" to be eliminated in the failing war on drugs. Spraying with toxic herbicides has led to the destruction of legitimate food crops, to cattle getting sick and dying, and to the criminalization of a traditional medicinal remedy.

Coca leaves have been used for centuries in the Andes region as a tonic and energy-giving herb. Both chewed and drunk as a tea, the leaves have helped the farmers of the altiplano to overcome fatigue and to fight illness, much like other peoples use coffee or tea. If you happen to take a trip to Peru or Bolivia, and arrive at a hotel in one of the towns on the altiplano, the first thing you are offered is ... coca tea. It does help to overcome high altitude problems and has been used this way by popular tradition.

Prohibition manufactures crime. Not only do users of a certain targetted substance find themselves all of a sudden labelled criminals, the very prohibition of use induces a black market of immense proportions with big time crime gravitating to that great business. Information about drug effects is scarse, pushers are hooking people on the "latest and greatest", users find themselves unable to afford supporting their habit and turn to real criminal behaviour - theft, robbery and break-ins.

The United Nations failed, in its recent conference to re-examine both the basic philosophy behind legally enforced prohibition and the abysmal performance of its great "war on drugs". With law-induced criminality on the rise, our governments close their eyes and ears to the issue.

Here is the latest on the fight in Columbia, sent in by Maria Mercedes Moreno of

The only options proposed by the blind and subservient Uribe Administration: Chemical war or bloodshed under the Drug War dictum.  

Activists against fumigation are being accused of aiding and supporting narcotics traffickers and/or the insurgency by the Colombian government in its search to put a Constitutional end to all social protest and receive increased military funding towards expanding the scope of the Drug War to include those who prone for legal and non-violent alternatives.   

Colombia could ban U.S. spraying

Farmers, activists say anti-drug effort harmful to citizens, legal crops

09:17 PM CDT on Wednesday, August 13, 2003

By TOD ROBBERSON / The Dallas Morning News

BUESACO, Colombia - With the fate of Washington's flagship anti-drug program hanging in the balance, a Colombian court is days away from deciding whether to ban the spraying of a U.S.-manufactured herbicide used to eradicate illicit drug crops.

The ruling by a judicial tribunal awaits only the submission of an environmental study due this month. Officials acknowledge the decision could force the United States and Colombia to halt the use of glyphosate, the only chemical herbicide approved for aerial eradication of drug crops here.

Colombia is by far the largest supplier of the heroin and cocaine consumed in the United States. A ban on glyphosate, known by its U.S. brand name Roundup, would bring a large part of Washington's $2 billion anti-drug effort to a screeching halt and reverse progress in a 5-year-old effort to end the cultivation of plants that provide the base ingredients for cocaine and heroin.

But in Buesaco and hundreds of other towns across Colombia, peasant farmers have grown increasingly vocal in protesting the herbicide's use, charging that American-piloted crop dusters have mistakenly wiped out their legal crops and that glyphosate poses serious health risks to humans and farm animals.

Their complaints coincide with efforts by constitutional and environmental activists to halt what they call the wanton destruction of the Colombian countryside with glyphosate.

The ban on glyphosate is pending before the Superior Administrative Court tribunal in Cundinamarca state, north of Bogota. In addition, the federal Constitutional Court in Bogota last April ordered the government to restrict herbicide spraying over Indian reservations, which compose about 28 percent of Colombian territory.

Farmers' lawsuit

Buesaco farmers, like others across the country, have filed their own lawsuit against the government that demands payment for losses they say they have suffered from glyphosate.

"The government claims that glyphosate doesn't harm human health or the environment. We know this is not true," said Jose Maria Moncayo, the mayor of Buesaco, in southwestern Colombia. "Our children started vomiting and developed skin rashes as soon as the spraying began. Our cattle developed respiratory infections, then started dying."

Such claims have been made in Buesaco and other towns for years, and studies commissioned by the State Department have dismissed the health problems, in almost all cases, as unrelated to the spraying. Both governments insist the herbicide is safe.

President Alvaro Uribe's administration has pledged to fight any court decision restricting glyphosate. But top officials acknowledge they are worried about the spate of cases.

They say the Cundinamarca tribunal's ruling is only the first of many expected challenges coinciding with new results showing that the eradication campaign has killed up to 25 percent of the country's known illicit drug crops.

"The traffickers are feeling this is for real and that things are going to change for the worse very, very quickly. They're going to resort to any type of means to defeat this policy and to challenge it," said Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos.

"They're going to use the legal system, they're going to use violence and they're going to use corruption," he added. "We're confronting an industry, a huge criminal industry. They don't play games. We have to take these challenges seriously."

Claudia Sampedro, a constitutional law professor who filed the Cundinamarca lawsuit, said she was motivated solely by a desire to see Colombian law applied appropriately.

Ms. Sampedro said the government has failed on two counts: Although it insists that glyphosate is safe, the required environmental-impact studies on file are from U.S. State Department and Environmental Protection Agency studies, which are not necessarily valid under Colombian law. She added that U.S. credibility should be questioned, given the high political stakes and the recent controversy over U.S. claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

Environmental concerns

Ms. Sampedro and other opponents also argue that the government is using a significantly more powerful mix of glyphosate and other chemicals whose environmental record is not demonstrably safe.

"The law requires the completion of a Colombian environmental impact study. It is the requirement whenever you undertake any kind of activity that could affect the environment, whether it is herbicide spraying or building a house or a gas station or an airport," she said. "This entire case exists because they initiated spraying with glyphosate without carrying out the required environmental studies."

Ms. Sampedro also argued that the technology for spraying glyphosate, using U.S.-piloted crop-dusting planes, is nowhere near as accurate as the U.S. and Colombian governments say..

"They would have us believe that each molecule of glyphosate is individually intelligent, so that, after it is released from the plane, it thinks, 'I am only going to fall on a coca plant,' " ignoring all plots of legally cultivated farmland nearby, she said. "Oh, please. Are they trying to suggest that this chemical only kills illicit plants, and that not a single yucca or corn or plantain plant is harmed? They treat us as if we were stupid."

Although the Cundinamarca court ordered the suspension of spraying, the ruling must await an appeals process and review of an environmental study now being completed.

Determined to spray

Mr. Santos said the government would abide by the final decision, although it would search for any possible legal means to continue spraying ö including introducing a constitutional amendment allowing the government to eradicate with herbicides anywhere illicit drug crops are growing.

He said anyone who thinks he can avoid eradication by intermingling illicit crops with legal crops is sorely mistaken.

"Tough luck. He is using his land to poison Colombia, to destroy the land and to poison American, Colombian, Brazilian and European kids," the vice president said.

He said Ms. Sampedro and others may well force the suspension of spraying. The result, he warned, will be a sudden surge in bloodshed as Colombian troops fight back the insurgents protecting the drug trade.

"Oh, fine. We'll have a great environment but with dead bodies all over," Mr. Santos said. "We'll have a great environment but nobody left to live in it."

Claims of inaccuracy

Many peasant farmers in Buesaco, a mountain community surrounded by peaks where opium poppy flourishes, said they support ending the drug trade but complained that the spraying has at times been wildly inaccurate.

"I live in a low, dry area where opium cannot grow. The closest illicit crops are eight kilometers [4.8 miles] away," said Segundo Ballardo Benavides, from the nearby village of Las Minas. When crop_dusting planes swooped down over his farm last November, he said, the herbicide killed everything: corn stalks, beans, coffee trees.

Other farmers showed a videotape of spraying near Buesaco in April in which a plane swoops low over a hillside and releases herbicide. A strong gust of wind hits the herbicide upon release, dispersing it widely and carrying it far from its intended drop point.

Teodoro Campo, the chief of the National Police, said glyphosate has been in use for 20 years in Colombia.

The computer and satellite technology provided by the United States to guide the crop-dusting planes is said to ensure a very high rate of accuracy. "Yes, it's very possible that, with wind, the [accuracy] of the spraying could be affected," he said. "But if the drug traffickers think they can thwart us by putting, say, a coffee plantation here and here, and put a coca plantation in between so that we won't spray it, they are wrong. We will spray, and yes, that coffee will suffer."


Online at: Dallas News


Maria Mercedes Moreno


See also more recent:

New forces dominate Bolivia poll
Aymara peasants march along a Bolivian altiplano road toward the capital La Paz on 13 October 2004 - Indigenous groups and independent parties appear to have won strong support in local elections in Bolivia.

So exactly how harmless is alcohol?
Drug prohibition law in the UK - an experiment that failed. There is discussion now about what to do and the Royal Society of Arts commission on illegal drugs has issued a report...


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Monday August 25 2003
updated on Wednesday December 8 2010

URL of this article:


Related Articles

Medical Marijuana: US Supreme Court Upholds Federal Prohibition
Without directly invalidating State marijuana laws that allow for medical use, the US Supreme Court has decided that "federal law trumps state law" and that therefore, federal prosecutions of individuals using marijuana cannot be countered by reference to state laws allowing its use, be that medical or otherwise. According to this article, the court said the regulation of illicit drugs is a matter of interstate commerce, reserved exclusively to the... [read more]
June 07, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger

Marijuana As Medicine - Prohibition kills the patient
Marijuana has been used as medicine for centuries, even millennia, research has shown that THC, the active ingredient in the herb, has anti-cancer properties, but courts in the US (and elsewhere) say no. Patients who use marijuana to ease pain or cure an illness are arrested, humiliated, bankrupted and some die as a consequence. Even where states have passed laws that allow the cultivation and use of marijuana for... [read more]
July 28, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Prescription Drug Epidemic - Psychiatrists 'Pushers'
"Our nation is in the throes of an epidemic of controlled prescription drug abuse and addiction," said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA's chairman and president and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. "While America has been congratulating itself in recent years on curbing increases in alcohol and illicit drug abuse, and in the decline in teen smoking, abuse of prescription drugs has been stealthily, but sharply, rising." It... [read more]
July 09, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger

Crime and Nutrition
Tjarko Holtjer, a friend in the Netherlands who runs a well fed multilingual website about health freedom, nutrition issues and more, has sent an article which I would like to pass on. Criminal behaviour and violence depend very much on nutrition. Some vitamins or essential minerals - if out of balance - can make the difference between a sane fellow and a violent criminal. Same thing at school - nutrition... [read more]
October 15, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger

Psychiatric Drugs: TeenScreen Draws Criticism, Legal Challenge
TeenScreen, a program to screen America's school children for "mental illness" to be treated with often addictive drugs prescribed by a pharma-driven treatment algorithm, is making waves. The parents of a girl who was given a questionaire and subsequently diagnosed with obsessive compulsive and social anxiety disorder are up in arms about the testing and say they will take all legal remedies available to them. Evelyn Pringle discusses the case... [read more]
June 17, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger




Readers' Comments

Security code:

Please enter the security code displayed on the above grid

Due to our anti-spamming policy the comments you are posting will show up online within few hours from the posting time.



The Individual Is Supreme And Finds Its Way Through Intuition


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes. Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice before utilizing any of the information to cure or mitigate disease. Any copyrighted material cited is used strictly in a non commercial way and in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine.



Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz



Most Popular Articles
Lipitor: Side Effects And Natural Remedy

Lipitor - The Human Cost

Fluoride Accumulates in Pineal Gland

Original blueprints for 200 mpg carburetor found in England

Medical system is leading cause of death and injury in US

Aspartame and Multiple Sclerosis - Neurosurgeon's Warning

'Bird Flu', SARS - Biowarfare or a Pandemic of Propaganda?



More recent articles
Chromotherapy in Cancer

Inclined Bed Therapy: Tilt your bed for healthful sleep

European Food Safety Authority cherry picks evidence - finds Aspartame completely safe

Did Aspartame kill Cory Terry?

Retroviral particles in human immune defenses - is AIDS orthodoxy dead wrong?

Vaccine damage in Great Britain: The consequences of Dr Wakefield’s trials

Archive of all articles on this site



Most recent comments
Uganda: Pfizer Sponsored AIDS Institute Snubs Natural Treatment Options

Lipitor: Side Effects And Natural Remedy

AIDS: 'No Gold Standard' For HIV Testing

Lipitor: Side Effects And Natural Remedy

'Global Business Coalition' Wants More Testing: But Tests Do Not Show AIDS



Candida International

What Does MHRA Stand For??

Bono and Bush Party without Koch: AIDS Industry Makes a Mockery of Medical Science

Profit as Usual and to Hell with the Risks: Media Urge that Young Girls Receive Mandatory Cervical Cancer Vaccine


Share The Wealth

Artificial Water Fluoridation: Off To A Poor Start / Fluoride Injures The Newborn

Drinking Water Fluoridation is Genotoxic & Teratogenic

Democracy At Work? - PPM On Fluoride

"Evidence Be Damned...Patient Outcome Is Irrelevant" - From Helke

Why Remove Fluoride From Phosphate Rock To Make Fertilizer


Evolving Collective Intelligence

Let Us Please Frame Collective Intelligence As Big As It Is

Reflections on the evolution of choice and collective intelligence

Whole System Learning and Evolution -- and the New Journalism

Gathering storms of unwanted change

Protect Sources or Not? - More Complex than It Seems



Islanda, quando il popolo sconfigge l'economia globale.

Il Giorno Fuori dal Tempo, Il significato energetico del 25 luglio

Rinaldo Lampis: L'uso Cosciente delle Energie

Attivazione nei Colli Euganei (PD) della Piramide di Luce

Contatti con gli Abitanti Invisibili della Natura


Diary of a Knowledge Broker

Giving It Away, Making Money

Greenhouses That Change the World

Cycles of Communication and Collaboration

What Is an "Integrated Solution"?

Thoughts about Value-Add




Best sellers from