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Bolivia: New Factory to Make Coca Products for Medicinal Use

By Marc Rogers | The Argentina Independent | July 30, 2013

Bolivian president Evo Morales today inaugurated the first factory for coca-based products, highlighting their health benefits and medicinal uses.

The new plant, opened in a suburb of La Paz, will process around 75,000 tonnes of coca leaf a year to make drinkable infusions, such as coca mate and teas.

Coca cultivation is illegal is much of world, but permitted in Bolivia. In January the UN agreed to exempt Bolivia from its 1961 ruling to criminalise the coca leaf, one that Morales called a “historic error“.

“It’s good for me,” said Morales of chewing the coca leaf at the inauguration of the new factory. “Many people are fighting diabetes with coca – that has been proven.” The president also pointed to a Harvard University investigation from the 1990s that found considerable health benefits could be derived from eating coca.

The factory will be administered by the Association of Coca Producers (Adepcoca), and was built with support from the national and city governments, as well as the EU.

Morales added that he would present the coca products to his Ecuadorian counterpart Rafael Correa on the fringes of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) summit to see about exporting the goods.

Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia are the world’s principal coca producers.

July 30, 2013 - Posted by | Economics | , ,

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