Published: Friday 31 August 2001

Aerial spraying of the herbicide glyphosate by Columbia is posing a serious health hazards for Ecuadorians. Colombia is spraying the herbicide in its Putumayo province to control the cultivation of drugs. But this has raised concerns in Ecuador, which shares a 620-km border with Colombia. Incidents of headaches, fever and rashes have become common among Ecuadorians living near the border since the spraying began. Environmentalists fear that the spraying would also damage crops. "We have urged Colombia to use manual equipment for its eradication programme in areas close to our border," said Heinz Moeller, Ecuador's foreign affairs minister.

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