The Politics of Glyphosate

The CICAD Study on the Impacts of Glyphosate and the Crop Figures

1 June 2005

The Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), an agency affiliated with the OAS, recently joined the large number of existing scientific studies on the possible health and environmental effects of Round Up, the glyphosate formula being sprayed on illicit crops in Colombia. CICAD’s investigation, under the direction of an international scientific team, concluded that the chemicals used in the spraying — glyphosate and Cosmo-Flux — do not affect human health or the environment, and that at most they could cause temporary skin and eye irritation, but serious doubts exist. The National University of Colombia’s Environmental Studies Institute published a critical analysis of the CICAD study, which considered technical aspects of the investigation, finding methodological shortcomings, as well as omissions and inconsistencies throughout the report. Those findings could point to a lack of impartiality in the CICAD study.


  • The CICAD study of the impacts of glyphosate spraying has been the subject of much criticism. The researchers involved in the study should respond to this criticism and explain the shortcomings and omissions that have been pointed out by various experts.
  • The Colombian Ombudsman's Office has registered some 8,000 health-related complaints from people in the areas sprayed. By ignoring these complaints, the researchers demonstrated a lack of respect for the affected population, carrying out the study as if nothing had happened.
  • The Colombian government should make public the new Round Up formula currently being used for spraying. No conclusion can be drawn about its harmlessness if the concentration of chemicals used in the spraying is unknown.
  • Aside from the harm to human health and the environment, aerial spraying has created greater instability in the regions and has contributed to the displacement of crops. It therefore should not be proposed as a long-term solution and should be suspended.


Nr 14 -
June 2005
ISBN/ISSN: 2214-8906

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