Environment - Fumigation - 6-21-11

(Costs and Problems) "Indeed, the very use of crop eradication is questionable. As noted above, the projected cost of manual and aerial fumigation programs is expected to surge to $1.5 billion by 2013. The fact that this might not result in any meaningful decline in production obviously calls into question the wisdom of this investment. Crop spraying has also been linked to various adverse health effects. Roundup, for instance, has resulted in fever, eye irritation, gastrointestinal complaints, skin rashes, and dizziness.17 Moreover, fumigation is essentially an indiscriminate counternarcotics measure in the sense that it can destroy both licit and illicit crops. Taken together, these outcomes can have a highly detrimental impact on popular support for the government, driving local producers into the hands of insurgents and legitimating their rhetoric that the government is engaged in a rapacious drive to destroy peasant livelihoods.18"


Chalk, Peter, "The Latin American Drug Trade: Scope, Dimensions, Impact, and Response," RAND Corporation for the the United States Air Force (Santa Monica, CA: 2011), p. 64.