According to the story:
On April 16, the New York Times ran a full-page ad from contact lens producer Bausch and Lomb, announcing the recall of its "ReNu with MoistureLoc" rewetting solution, and warning the 30 million American wearers of soft contact lenses about Fusarium keratitis. This infection, first detected in Asia, has rapidly spread across the United States. It is caused by a mold-like fungus that can penetrate the cornea of soft contact lens wearers, causing redness and pain that can lead to blindness - requiring a corneal replacement.Souder and co-sponsor Dan Burton (R-IN) seem to be alone in thinking that blinding Colombian peasants is an effective means of controlling drug crops. The article mentions various government agencies opposing the use of Fusarium, including the State Department, the USDA, the CIA, the DEA, and the ONDCP:
The DEA stopped funding Fusarium research in the United States during the early '90s after it learned that Fusarium infections can be deadly in "immunocompromised" people - not only AIDS patients and those with other illnesses, but also those who are severely malnourished. The University of the Andes in Bogotá has recently reported that 12 percent of Colombian children suffer from chronic malnutrition. Spraying this fungus on a vulnerable population could be perceived as using a biological weapon.
The CIA has been against the use of Fusarium to kill drug crops since at least 2000. At that time, one official told the Times, "I don't support using a product on a bunch of Colombian peasants that you wouldn’t use against a bunch of rednecks growing marijuana in Kentucky."
Mark Souder has once again proven himself to be the most hysterical drug warrior in Congress, devoid of all logic and reason when it comes to anything concerning drugs. In this case the government's own anti-drug agencies have enough sense to realize that causing a public health crisis in one country does is not an acceptable means of addressing a perceived public health crisis in this country. If this provision does become policy, perhaps we can convince Souder to support supplying medical marijuana to relieve the intra-ocular pressure of the newly blinded Colombians.
To find out just how heartless the "distinguished" Congressman from Indiana really is, you can read the entire article here.