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Monsanto's Roundup Ultra: the Napalm of the Drug War

By Wondertoad in MLP
Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 08:17:21 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

The Observer reports on the use of this nasty chemical. They're using helicopter gunships to spray it at 100 times the allowed US levels, on villages and indigenous communities in Colombia. Their intent is to kill coca plants... instead, they've killed 178,000 farm animals, and given skin conditions and gastric disorders to 4200 humans, including hundreds of children. The result: they've managed to disrupt legitiate farming, while the coca production has generally survived.


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Monsanto's Roundup Ultra: the Napalm of the Drug War | 28 comments (28 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Hmm... (2.70 / 10) (#1)
by Daemosthenes on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 01:29:57 AM EST

I'm sure this will spark some great discussion, but isn't it a bit blatant with the US-bashing? Really - once the article goes into the example of the small girl Franci getting hurt by US sponsored programs, it seems like an unabashed effort to demonize the US efforts against the drug trade.

-
Why is that bad? (3.00 / 8) (#4)
by treetops on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 01:46:28 AM EST

it seems like an unabashed effort to demonize the US efforts against the drug trade.

The U.S. spraying of pesticide "seems like an unabashed effort to destroy the lives of thousands of impoverished, third-world people"

When people, and especially governments, commit morally wrong and unjust acts, it is the duty of moral people to speak out. The "efforts against the drug trade" has resulted in more government pork-barrel spending, murder, crime, and evil than any other act of the U.S. government. Why should we support that?
--tt
[ Parent ]

"demonize" (4.88 / 9) (#8)
by streetlawyer on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 03:42:09 AM EST

I think I may write an article about the misuse of this word. Killing children is exactly the sort of thing which we ought to demonise; it's not a point of view, like Open Source or Freemasonry, which honest people can differ on. If someone accuses you of killing children, your only real defence is that you're not doing it; it is loathsome to try to imply that it is in some way vulgar or unprofessional to raise the matter.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Children... (4.00 / 1) (#20)
by Ken Arromdee on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 10:34:16 AM EST

Children in this context are used by implying that since children are getting hurt, it is callous to insist on normal standards of evidence. You are supposed to uncriticially accept the claims being made because after all, children are involved, and it's horrible to question children's suffering. Anyone who argues against someone trying to protect children is evil.

The only real defense to "this is bad because it kills children" is that you're not doing it. But anyone who just wants to say that can usually point to adult victims instead. What's the defense to "you're a horrible person to question something that's killing children"?

[ Parent ]

raising the matter... (3.00 / 4) (#21)
by Daemosthenes on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 11:39:47 AM EST

If someone accuses you of killing children, your only real defence is that you're not doing it; it is loathsome to try to imply that it is in some way vulgar or unprofessional to raise the matter.

I agree whole heartedly with your statement. What I was trying to point out was the fact that the article did not, at all, show both sides of the picture. It focused on the US destroying crops and killing children, which -is- bad. However, the article made no mention of the other point of view, that the United States is doing this for a good reason. Here is a bit on Columbian street children getting hurt in gangs, or becoming street addicts; The drug trade itself is not kind to small children, and probably kills more than US pesticide dropping ever could. I was just a bit annoyed that the article made no real mention of this, or any opposing viewpoint.

-
[ Parent ]
Gangs, etc. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
by beergut on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 08:44:21 PM EST

There is a reason the drug trade, at all levels, is a favorite activity of gangs.

It is illegal.

The thrill of doing something illegal, flouting the law, and getting away with it, is a huge rush.

Oh, and don't forget the huge money involved.

If you want to "save the children" (God, if I hear that phrase one more time I think I'm going to puke,) your best bet is to not kill them (like the U.S. saved those kids at Waco.)

Get rid of the profit motive of the entire drug trade by legalizing and educating.

Make it clear that these chemicals can be dangerous by requiring companies that produce narcotics for sale in the U.S. to clearly and distinctly warn people of the effects, side-effects, and long-term effects of the use of the drug.

Then, make laws that remove liability of producers from harm done the users, except when a batch of poisoned smack hits the shelves.

Get rid of the drug warriors by getting rid of the drug war. Then, kids at home and abroad will be safer.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

How to end the drug issue (2.40 / 10) (#2)
by babylago on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 01:34:12 AM EST

Research and produce a genetic treatment that gives the subject a fatal allergy to the active ingredient in [insert drug here]. Find a common delivery method, like the water supply, or immunization shots, or over-the-counter pain medication, and incorporate the treatment. As people die, patterns will emerge. Drug use will be obviously, immediately, and uniformly fatal. That would, I think, pretty much take care of the issue.

I need to work for the government.

---
[ Blog | Hunnh ]

hey, G-man... (3.00 / 5) (#9)
by Glacky on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 03:59:02 AM EST

wow, that's really dark. You definitely need some happy pills :-)

[ Parent ]
I'd really prefer a treatment (3.25 / 4) (#10)
by RobotSlave on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 04:08:18 AM EST

that made the subject immune to the illegal drug in question :).

[ Parent ]
Such a treatment exists (3.75 / 4) (#11)
by codemonkey_uk on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 04:14:13 AM EST

At least for heroin. Addicts in the UK can ask for it.

I actually know someone who has a friend who is an ex-junkie who had the treatment. When the treatment was done his doctor said to him: Now go out and score some smack. It won't work and you'll never do it again.

And he did. And it didn't. And he hasn't. Or so I'm told.

I've also read some research into similar treatments for coke and THC.

I think that the avaiablility of such treatments is a good thing.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Alternatively.. (none / 0) (#25)
by pallex on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 01:00:08 PM EST

"Now go out and score some smack. It won't work and you'll never do it again."

..we could just force them to take stuff that was produced in England. If its anything like as good as our wine/cheese etc it`ll amount to the same thing!


[ Parent ]
Yeah, it's called "education". (4.50 / 2) (#22)
by Wondertoad on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 11:59:23 AM EST

There's another treatment called "truth", but it seems to be a victim of the WoD.

But what you probably don't want is a permanent genetically-engineered solution. The odd thing about all these plants that produce chemicals that get us high is that the same chemicals, slightly altered, could be enormously beneficial. We need to study them.

The reason why marijuana gets humans high is that the brain has receptors for cannabinoids. If you don't consider getting high to be useful, you can still find other uses for those receptors - in pain management, for example. And the nice thing about those particular receptors is that there aren't any on the parts of the brain that control involuntary motor functions. That's why cannabis is extrememly safe, in the sense that it's almost entirely non-toxic. You can't overdose. That also might explain why it's not physically addictive.

Almost all illegal drugs also have beneficial medical uses. Almost every culture uses certain consciousness-altering drugs - and the cultural choice of which drugs are "good" and which "evil" is almost arbitrary.

What we should be seeking treatment for is not drugs, but addiction. The reason why drugs are "bad", mmmkay, is that certain personality types will use almost any drug to the point where it destroys them. Those are the folks we should be treating and helping.


[ Parent ]
Substitute THC... (3.66 / 3) (#26)
by SvnLyrBrto on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 03:52:53 PM EST

I agree, mostly, but you need to substitute THC for marijuana in your post.

Smoking pot *IS* pretty damn bad for you; not because of the THC, the active ingredient, but because of all the other crap you're burning and inhaleing to get the THC into your system.

Now, brownies on the other hand......



john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

THC not the whole picture (none / 0) (#28)
by Wondertoad on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 09:14:18 PM EST

There are many more cannabinoids in the plant than just THC. CBN, CBD, etc. All slight differences between the same organic molecules, and their relationship and effects are not well understood.

Smoking plant material can't be good for you. OTOH I've read some evidence that the real cancer danger in tobacco comes from the alpha radiation in the fertilizer used to grow it.


[ Parent ]
Ooh! (3.75 / 4) (#14)
by pallex on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 09:15:51 AM EST

If you`re allowed to murder people to stop them from using drugs, i have *loads* of ideas...

:)

[ Parent ]
Of course (3.66 / 6) (#3)
by treetops on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 01:40:58 AM EST

they've managed to disrupt legitiate farming, while the coca production has generally survived

Cocaine production is worth several hundred million dollars each year. Drug farmers are going to survive these raids with ease. Legit farmers will not be able to re-plant or protect their fields because there's no money in sustanence farming.

Just an idea: with the poverty in Central and South America, combined with the high cost of the War on Drugs, wouldn't it make more sense for the Columbian government to legalize the growing of coca? The fields could be nationalize/taxed/regulated and the resulting monies dedicated to improving the national economy? It makes far more sense, in both the long and short term, as well as providing a well-needed slap in the face to the US.
--tt

Trade (4.33 / 6) (#7)
by ajf on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 02:18:27 AM EST

Just an idea: with the poverty in Central and South America, combined with the high cost of the War on Drugs, wouldn't it make more sense for the Columbian government to legalize the growing of coca? The fields could be nationalize/taxed/regulated and the resulting monies dedicated to improving the national economy? It makes far more sense, in both the long and short term, as well as providing a well-needed slap in the face to the US.

According to the CIA's world factbook, 39% of Colombia's export income comes from the United States, so they probably can't afford any face-slapping. In addition, they've received loans through the IMF, which places great importance on implementing economic policies which keep foreign interests happy.



"I have no idea if it is true or not, but given what you read on the Web, it seems to be a valid concern." -jjayson
[ Parent ]
One more consequence (4.66 / 6) (#12)
by Tezcatlipoca on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 04:17:59 AM EST

Legitimate farmers, once they can't make a living anymore will be more prone to move to the coca growing business. US goverment: doh!

Asuming the US could manage to completely devastate all Colombian soil (as they almost did in Vietnam, which had serious starvation problems after the war due to lack or wokable land) then the producers can move to neighbouring countries and carry on.

Then what is the US goverment going to do? Spray the Amazon forest?

And anyway all is just hioocrasy targeted to the self righteous puritanic morons back in the US. I dare them to spray the biggest cannabis producer in the world. I assure you the attempt will not last 5 seconds before they will be out oif office.

Legalization in producer countries is not the answer to the problem: if the bigest consumer (the US) will not trade legaly this stuff you are left with a pile of coca that could be easily traceable until it leaves Colombian shores. The "entrepreneurs" would still prefer to go underground to avoid detection from the US.

The solution is legalization in consumer countries (let me stress this: producer countries usually don't have a drug problem, they sell, don't smoke or inject, the stuff they produce), then it would make sense to legalize production.




Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]
The US has a tendency to help out the most (4.00 / 1) (#13)
by ZanThrax on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 06:36:11 AM EST

promising rebel leader in South & Central American countries that don't play nice. No Colombian government could do such a thing and remain the government for long.


If there's nothing you'd die for, then what do you have to live for?


[ Parent ]
Are you insane? (3.00 / 1) (#15)
by Tachys on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 09:17:40 AM EST

If Columbia did that the US would probably start bombing them. No more of these sissy chemicals.

[ Parent ]
Coca leaf tea? (4.33 / 3) (#24)
by pallex on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 12:55:57 PM EST

"wouldn't it make more sense for the Columbian government to legalize the growing of coca?"

A small amount of coca IS legally produced, for tea. This isn`t allowed to be exported to many countries, though, in case we get hooked and die or go mad or whatever it is thats supposed to happen when you take drugs.

http://www.american.edu/projects/mandala/TED/perucoca.htm



[ Parent ]
Title of this article (4.20 / 15) (#5)
by Delirium on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 01:58:21 AM EST

I'm not sure why you seem to be implicitly blaming Monsanto for this. First of all, the linked-to article doesn't even claim that the pesticide was produced by Monsanto, so you have no evidence that they're involved even peripherally. And if it was their pesticide, all they do is produce pesticide; the fact that it was sprayed at 100 times allowable US levels is the fault of the sprayers, not the fault of the people they bought their chemical from.

It is Monsanto's product. (4.22 / 9) (#6)
by ajf on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 02:10:21 AM EST

A minor nitpick: the article does mention Roundup Ultra, which is a Monsanto product, but your point stands - Monsanto can't be held responsible if a customer is spraying it in concentrations 100 times higher than it is supposed to be used.



"I have no idea if it is true or not, but given what you read on the Web, it seems to be a valid concern." -jjayson
[ Parent ]
Roundup Ready Coca! (4.50 / 2) (#16)
by Lord13 on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 09:19:10 AM EST

Hey those farmers should ask Monsanto to produce some Roundup Ready Coca(genetically modified seeds)! The US will just be clearing the fields of those pesky weeds, veggies, etc and let the real cash crop flourish.

Growing half a tree, water it everyday.
[ Parent ]
Gentic engineering unnecessary (3.33 / 3) (#19)
by abdera on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 09:54:52 AM EST

From reading the article, and others in the same vein, it seems that the coca crops are pretty resistant anyway. Looks like the spraying has cleared the area of those pesky food crops to make way for more coca.

#224 [deft-:deft@98A9C369.ipt.aol.com] at least i don't go on aol
[ Parent ]

It is naive to think that Monsanto had no role (5.00 / 2) (#17)
by abdera on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 09:42:41 AM EST

Given the extremely large amount of herbicide used, along with the fact that there are many glyphosate-based herbicide alternatives to Roundup Ultra, it is inconcievable that Monsanto lobbyists had no influence over the choice of herbicide used. Particulary since at least one of these alternatives are more effective in smaller amounts.

Monsanto has been involved in numerous unconscionable practices before, most notably, suing a Canadian farmer after their gnetically engineered seed contaminated his crops.

I cannot concieve that Monsanto is simply an innocent producer.

#224 [deft-:deft@98A9C369.ipt.aol.com] at least i don't go on aol
[ Parent ]

Ex-Pharmacia Employee Response (4.33 / 3) (#23)
by Lord13 on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 12:19:42 PM EST

I worked for Pharmacia Corp, which is the parent corporation for Monsanto. After working there for nearly 5 years I can tell you that they are indeed an evil corporation. I would not doubt for a second that Monsanto willfully (and happily) provided a concentrated form of Roundup Ultra for use in this government project.

Growing half a tree, water it everyday.
[ Parent ]
Can you say "crime against humanity"? (2.66 / 3) (#18)
by billstclair on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 09:50:02 AM EST

It's time to execute the drug warriors. They've gone too far. Way too far.

Monsanto's Roundup Ultra: the Napalm of the Drug War | 28 comments (28 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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