January 3, 2010 |
When a small Canadian environmental firm started collecting soil samples on a former U.S. air base in a remote Vietnamese valley, Thomas Boivin and other scientists were skeptical that they would find evidence proving herbicides used there by the American military decades ago still posed a health threat. But results showed that levels of the cancer-causing poison dioxin were far greater than guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for residential areas. That's when Boivin, now president of the firm, says he had his "eureka moment."
December 16, 2009 |
Spraying 800 pounds of herbicides on coca over treacherous terrain while getting shot at is not everyone's idea of a good time. But for Dave, a 35-year-old crop-duster from Texas turned "top gun" of Tumaco, it's a "kick in the pants." Every day, weather permitting, the admitted adrenaline junkie starts up his armored plane, a bulky craft that resembles a horse trailer with wings. Then he zooms off from a tiny airport here on Colombia's Pacific coast to do his part in the drug war, a highly choreographed aerial ballet in which he and three other pilots flying in tight formation dump their chemicals.
March 26, 2009 |
The U.S. Border Patrol has agreed to delay spraying herbicide near the Rio Grande until more talks are held with Mexican officials. U.S. officials say the herbicide, imazapyr, does not harm people or animals, but Mexican officials want to do their own review. Officials from the Department of Homeland Security and the binational agency that oversees the river met Tuesday to discuss the plan to test the herbicide on carrizo cane. The towering plants suck up river water and obscure the banks along much of the Rio Grande, making it difficult for agents to see people crossing the border.
March 25, 2009 |
Critics are protesting a Border Patrol plan to poison vegetation along a 1.1-mile stretch of the Rio Grande riverbank to eliminate dense foliage used as hiding places by illegal immigrants and smugglers. Some opponents of the action compare it to the Agent Orange chemical spraying program during the Vietnam War. The $2.1-million pilot project is due to begin this week.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 11, 2007 |
Let's begin by agreeing that the Los Angeles City Council's Rules and Elections Committee is not exactly Comedy Central. That's not saying committee Chairman Eric Garcetti isn't a host with a sense of humor. He is. But hey, it's Rules and Elections. Short of passing out whoopee cushions and nachos, you can only do so much. But this Wednesday's meeting may be different because the committee is going to discuss instant runoff voting.
June 5, 2007 |
Despite widespread spraying of defoliants financed by the U.S., total acreage of coca cultivated in Colombia rose 19% in 2006 compared with 2005, according to an annual survey by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The report stresses that much of the gain may be attributed to an expansion of the area included in the survey, which is done by satellite, airplane and on the ground.