A secretive test-spraying of “harmless plastic granules” over Afghan poppy crops has revealed deepening opposition to drug- eradication efforts backed by the United States.
The program, intended to gauge reactions to future spraying of real herbicide, provoked questions and outrage from local farmers all the way up to Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai, reports McClatchy Newspapers.
Opium produced from Afghan poppies contributes as much as $100 million annually to the insurgent Taliban’s coffers. Eradication efforts thus far have done little to stem the harvest, and now fears are deepening over the impacts of toxic herbicides on water supplies, livestock and humans.
“Outcry against poisoning Afghanistan poppies”
McClatchy Newspapers, October 26, 2007