Culture - Scientists: instect would kill coca crops

Discussion in 'Coca' started by Alfa, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    SCIENTISTS: INSECT WOULD KILL COCA CROPS


    BOGOTA,Colombia (AP) -- A group of Colombian scientists believe they've found a way to wipe out cocaine production: unleash an army of hungry moth caterpillars. But critics of the proposal say the chance for "ecological mischief" is high.


    The plan envisions breeding thousands of beige-colored Eloria Noyesi moths in laboratories, packing them into boxes and releasing them into steamy coca-growing regions of Colombia, the world's main supplier of the drug. The moths, about twice the size of a fly, are native only to the Andean region of South America.


    Colombian Environment Minister Sandra Suarez told The Associated Press that the government considers the proposal an "interesting alternative" to existing eradication methods.


    Carlos Alberto Gomez, president of the privately funded National Network of Botanical Gardens, made the proposal last week. He said the moths would naturally make a beeline for the coca plants and lay their eggs on the leaves. About a week later, caterpillars would emerge and destroy the plants by devouring the leaves.


    Each moth could lay eggs on more than a hundred plants in one month, said Gonzalo Andrade, a biology professor with Colombia's Universidad Nacional, who has been working with the botanical garden group. He called it a natural solution to eradication.


    "It would be like fumigating the crops with moths," Andrade said.


    But the idea has already drawn criticism.


    Ricardo Vargas, director of the Colombian environmental group Andean Action, contended that while the moths may be native to this region, there's nothing natural about releasing thousands of them into small areas. The tropics have the world's most diverse plant life, he said, so the moths would likely threaten other plants as well.


    "With a plan like this, the chance for ecological mischief is very high and very dangerous," Vargas said.


    Gomez's association also recommended the use of other natural enemies of coca such as fungus.


    The proposal, and the Colombian government's interest, comes five years into a massive fumigation program of coca crops in Colombia, paid for and mostly carried out by the U.S. government.


    A record number of acres was fumigated by the crop dusters last year, but the total number of acres under cultivation at the end of 2004 was slightly more than the number left over in 2003 after spraying. Peasant farmers have been simply replanting the fast-growing coca, frustrating the eradication efforts.


    Andrade said moths would better counter the replanting problem because they would continue to reproduce and attack the plants.


    The idea to use biological agents to eradicate coca is not new.


    In 2000, the Colombian government rejected a proposal by the United States to introduce a fungus called Fusarium oxysporum to coca plants as a means of eradication. Colombia said it was concerned about possible mutations and adverse affects on people and the environment in the delicate Amazon basin, where most of Colombia's coca is grown.
     
  2. Woodman

    Woodman A very strange person. Platinum Member & Advisor

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    The stupid Bastards!

    What are all of those insects going to eat when the
    coca plants are gone; COFFEE?
     
  3. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    I guess the military is going to give those insects a firm warning to start with the coca and not to touch all those other plants. I'm sure they'll listen. BTW: swarms of coca binging insects on the loose? Sounds like a recepy for disaster to me. Wouldn't want to live anywhere near where that shit is going down.
     
  4. Sitbcknchill

    Sitbcknchill Retired Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    Figures!!!! Just another thing for the rest of the world to thank us for eh.....
     
  5. Sick Jack

    Sick Jack Newbie

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    It's a good deal for the Americans.. First the Colombian spread this horrible caterpilars, then they destroy everything, it becomes a problem and finally Americans sell tones of RoundUp to the Colombians to eradicate the problem.....
     
  6. KrZ^

    KrZ^ Gold Member

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    Except they have RoundUp ready coca already growing. The growers
    who are using the RoundUp ready strains are actually just getting free
    weed removal from the U.S. governement.



    -I don't know how that other comment snuck in here
     
  7. VagabondWraith

    VagabondWraith Titanium Member

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    Re: SCIENTISTS: INSECT WOULD KILL COCA CROPS

    So Monsanto has their fingers in that pie as well as just about everything else? Somehow, this development does not surprise me seeing as those nefariously bright people plan ahead for everything.