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  • President Juan Manuel Santos

    President Juan Manuel Santos | Photo: EFE

Published 2 May 2015

The leader of the ruling Conservative Party announced the decision after meeting with Colombia’s president.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he will consider the recommendation of the Ministry of Health and suspend the use of Monsanto's herbicide used in the fight against illicit coca crops in the country.

The product, which contains the glyphosate, has been recently classified as carcinogenic by the World Health Organization.

The recommendation of Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria was backed by U.N. representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Todd Howland along with Colombian ombudsman, who received testimonies from indigenous peoples complaining about various skin illnesses.

The Colombian government will nevertheless guarantee that it will create “an effective mechanism in order to continue the fight against the cultivation of coca... in Colombia.”

RELATED: Latin American Organizations Campaign to Ban Monsanto

The FARC, currently negotiating a peace deal with the government, has been requesting the suspension of glyphosate's fumigations for years. These fumigations were first implemented as part of the U.S.-backed Plan Colombia, a security policy implemented in 1999 that significantly militarized the approach to the war on drugs.

Colombia’s National Office on Drugs will now consider the measure after a meeting planned for May 15. 

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