This is an August 2007 copy of a website maintained by the Center for International Policy. It is posted here for historical purposes. The Center for International Policy no longer maintains this resource.

Home
|
Analyses
|
Aid
|
|
|
News
|
|
|
|
Last Updated:10/05/01
Speech by Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman (R-New York), July 24, 2001
Mr. Chairman, the use of eradication aerial spraying in Colombia, while controversial, when put into overall perspective is not as alarming as many would have us believe. While I admire the objective of the gentleman who presented the amendment, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. CONYERS), all of the coca eradication spraying sponsored by U.S. policy in Colombia combined uses less than 10 percent of the Roundup herbicide used overall each year in that same nation for their legitimate farming and other usual eradication uses. That same herbicide, Roundup, long licensed since 1993 by our own EPA for use here in our own Nation, is used safely as well in many other areas of legitimate agricultural production in Colombia. In fact, the drug producers themselves often use this same herbicide to keep weeds down around the illicit coca bush to be eradicated by our spray planes.

The real environmental damage is done by the drug producers who slash and burn the Amazon jungle to plant coca and opium, and then pour tons of chemicals into the rivers from their illicit laboratories.

Mr. Chairman, there is no other alternative but to help Colombia. We must work with them to improve their military's human rights records, which concerns all of us. And as to the manual eradication idea in Colombia, the narcoterrorists will not let that happen. Just last year, for example, when record levels of both opium and coca were aerially eradicated by the anti-drug police, there was not one allegation of human rights abuse against the anti-drug unit, as I pointed out earlier today. It is a record we and they can be justly very proud of, especially in the middle of a raging civil war, a war that is often financed by the illicit drug monies.

Mr. Chairman, I urge the defeat of this amendment. It is a misguided proposal to end aerial eradication of coca growth.

Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, has the gentleman from New York heard of Agent Orange in Vietnam and the aftereffects?

Mr. GILMAN. Yes, I am familiar with that, but Agent Orange is not the kind of spraying that they are using here. They are using Roundup that the farmers themselves use for their weeds. The farmers in Colombia use this Roundup themselves. We use it.

As of October 3, 2001, this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/B?r107:@FIELD(FLD003+h)+@FIELD(DDATE+20010724)
Google
Search WWW Search ciponline.org

Asia
|
Colombia
|
|
Financial Flows
|
National Security
|

Center for International Policy
1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Suite 801
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 232-3317 / fax (202) 232-3440
cip@ciponline.org