US Activists Protest More than 80 people demonstrated outside the headquarters of the Monsanto Corporation in St. Louis, Missouri on 25th June to protest the spraying in Colombia of the toxic herbicide glyphosate, sold by Monsanto as Round-Up Ultra.
Six non-violent protesters were arrested at the direct action when they attempted to turn over to Monsanto a petition with roughly 2,500 signatures, urging the company to take responsibility for its role in the fumigation efforts in Colombia. "We’re concerned about the sales and production of Roundup Ultra," said Margaret Hill of the St. Louis Inter-faith Committee on Latin America. "It’s being indiscriminately sprayed on families and farms, not just on growing coca plants."
Sources: AP 25th June 2001; Rainforest Action Network
"ICI has pulled out of the controversial US project to spray vast areas of Colombia with herbicides in an attempt to eradicate its cocaine and heroin trade.
The British chemicals company’s decision, which came after an Observer investigation revealed its involvement, will be a major embarrassment to the US government and will dent the credibility of the plan. ICI does not want its name dragged into such a programme, particularly as there have been reports of children in Colombia who have inhaled the chemicals falling ill…
In January, the US State Department claimed the only chemical used in the aerial eradication is glyphosate. This pesticide, commonly known as ‘Round Up’, is made by the biotech corporation Monsanto. However, the department was forced to admit it was mixing the glyphosate in an untested brew with another chemical called Cosmo Flux, a sticky soap- like substance which helps the pesticides stick to the leaves of plants. One of its key ingredients is made by ICI.
ICI was forced to admit its products were being used when presented with documents from The Observer obtained by Colombian scientist Dr Elsa Nivía of the Pesticides Action Network."
Source: Antony Barnett and Solomon Hughes The Observer 1st July, 2001
Coca Cola, MasterCard and Telefonica are the sponsor of the Americas Cup football tournament.
As noted elsewhere in this bulletin Oscar Dario Soto Polo, a trade union negotiator with Coca Cola, was assassinated on 21 June 2001. But the bloody trail does not start there. According to a recent US steelworker delegation, in 1996 20 Coca Cola workers were either disappeared or murdered. Members of the food and beverage workers union SINTRAINAL had asked for protection from Coca Cola management, which was denied.
The company allowed paramilitaries to station themselves in the plant. For six months workers were threatened with assassination if they did not resign from the union. The report notes, "Ultimately, the paramilitaries carried out these threats and burned the union’s headquarters to the ground".
Sources: "Colombia – A Case of Genocide Against Unionists" by Dan Kovalik; CUT