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Beginning with the Valdivian culture, circa 3000 BC, there is an unbroken record of coca leaf consumption by succeeding cultural groups on the coast of Ecuador until European arrival as shown in their ceramic sculpture and abundant caleros or lime pots.
Coca consumption among the North Coast Peruvian tribes begins around 2000 BC as evidenced by the caleros found by Junius Bird at Huaca Prieta and the emergence of dedicated lime containers in the Jetetepeque river valley.
Extensive archaeological evidence for the chewing of coca leaves dates back at least to the 6th century AD Moche period, and the subsequent Inca period, based on mummies found with a supply of coca leaves, pottery depicting the characteristic cheek bulge of a coca chewer, spatulas for extracting alkali and figured bags for coca leaves and lime made from precious metals, and gold representations of coca in special gardens of the Inca in Cuzco.
Coca chewing may originally have been limited to the eastern Andes before its introduction to the Inca.
The herbicide resistance of this strain has at least two possible explanations: that a "peer-to-peer" network of coca farmers used selective breeding to enhance this trait through tireless effort, or the plant was genetically modified in a laboratory.
In 1996, a patented glyphosate-resistant soybean was marketed by Monsanto Company, suggesting that it would be possible to genetically modify coca in an analogous manner.
There are two species of cultivated coca, each with two varieties: ) suggests that Erythroxylum coca var.After some deliberation, Philip II of Spain issued a decree recognizing the drug as essential to the well-being of the Andean Indians but urging missionaries to end its religious use.The Spanish are believed to have effectively encouraged use of coca by an increasing majority of the population to increase their labor output and tolerance for starvation, but it is not clear that this was planned deliberately.Spraying Boliviana negra with glyphosate would serve to strengthen its growth by eliminating the non-resistant weeds surrounding it.Joshua Davis, in the Wired article cited below, found no evidence of CP4 EPSPS, a protein produced by the glyphosate-resistant soybean, suggesting Bolivana negra was either created in a lab by a different technique or bred in the field.
Coca is any of the four cultivated plants in the family Erythroxylaceae, native to western South America.