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Cocaine-Eating Moths May Have a Future in Colombia, That Government Says

  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    The government of Colombia is trying to recruit cocaine’s biggest fan—no, not Rick James—to help them finally clear the country of the illegally grown drug. The favorite food of the Cocaine Tussock Moth larva is, as its name implies, the leaves of the coca plant. Alberto Gomez, head of the Quindio Botanical Garden, (a Colombian preserve with a building shaped like a giant butterfly), has suggested a plan to flood the country with a horde of the hungry little insects as an alternative to spraying pesticides.

    According to the Associated Press U.S.-backed efforts to beat back the growth of cocaine in the country’s remote regions have mostly relied on airborne herbicides that use glyphosate, a chemical that the World Health Organization classifies as carcinogenic. At an event in Bogotá, the nation’s capital last week, President Juan Manuel Santos announced an end to the use of the fumigation chemical, citing a recommendation from the country’s Health Ministry.

    In Colombia, much of the coca trade is run by rebel groups, who protect the crops, making attempts to eradicate the plants with government personnel a dangerous proposition.

    This is not the first time the country has considered using these moths as a non-toxic means of curbing la cocaina; the plan has been floating around for about a decade, but authorities have been reluctant to take it up out of fear of unknown ecological externalities. In 2005, Ricardo Vargas, director of Colombian environmental organization Andean Action, told NBC, "With a plan like this, the chance for ecological mischief is very high and very dangerous."

    Only now, in light of heightened awareness of glyphosate’s potential risks, are the moths being reconsidered as an option. And while insects chomping through the Andes’ coca supply might, indeed, seem like a safer, or more natural solution than spraying hazardous chemicals, it would be prudent to remember Vargas’ warning about “ecological mischief”—there’s no telling what a swarm of angry, fiending moths are going to do after all that cocaine wears off.




    By Jed Oelbaum - Good Magazine/May 18, 20`5
    http://magazine.good.is/articles/cocaine-eating-moths-colombia
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    Beenthere2Hippie
    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.

Comments

  1. rawbeer
    Yeah, wow, sounds like a great idea. It's not like every time anyone has ever tried to do anything like this it has horribly backfired...

    I doubt Alberto Gomez is intellectually qualified to run a botanical garden if he can suggest something this stupid with a straight face/
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