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COLOMBIA / ECUADOR
Impact of fumigations
IPS
10/18/2007
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The fumigation of coca crops along the Colombian and Ecuadorian borders must cease until Colombian President Álvaro Uribe can show that the chemicals used are harmless, warned a high-ranking United Nations official.

“Colombia must not jeopardize the enjoyment of the right to health in Ecuador. It must do no harm to its neighbor,” said Paul Hunt, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health. Hunt is in charge of providing a report, requested by the Ecuadorian government, on the impact of the fumigations on the local population’s health.

Uribe’s government has said that there is “no scientific doubt” that the spraying of the herbicide glyphosate has innocuous impacts on health, and has demanded that Ecuador demonstrate the effects.

Ecuadorian officials have said the population that lives within 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) of the spraying runs a risk six to eight times higher of genetic damages that the population that lives 80 kilometers (50 miles) away.

Ecuador has repeatedly threatened to take the case to the International Court of Justice and has demanded that Colombia observe a no-spray zone within 10 kilometers of the border.


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