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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
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Moths could eat hole in cocaine market
    #4274410 - 06/09/05 02:40 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Moths could eat hole in cocaine market
June 9, 2005 - theage.com.au

A group of Colombian scientists believe they have found a way to wipe out cocaine production in Colombia, the world's main supplier of the drug: unleash an army of hungry moth caterpillars on the plants that produce cocaine.

In Colombia, where a US fumigation campaign on coca crops has produced mixed results, officials expressed interest in the new proposal.

Colombian Environment Minister Sandra Suarez told The Associated Press that the government has received the proposal and considered it an "interesting alternative" to existing eradication methods that deserves further study.

The plan envisions breeding thousands of beige-coloured Eloria Noyesi moths in laboratories, packing them into boxes and releasing them into Colombia's steamy, coca-growing regions, said Carlos Alberto Gomez, president of the privately-funded National Network of Botanical Gardens.

The moths, about twice the size of a fly, are native only to the Andean region of South America, Gomez said.

Gomez, whose group made the proposal last week to the government, 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.

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 plant life 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 plants 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 US government.

A record number of hectares was fumigated by the crop dusters last year, but the total area of coca under cultivation at the end of 2004 was 114,000 hectares - slightly more than the 113,850 hectares that were left over in 2003 after spraying.

Peasant farmers have simply been replanting the coca, frustrating the eradication efforts.

Andrade said moths would function better in this way because they would continue to reproduce and attack the coca plant.

The idea to use biological agents to attack the coca crop 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.


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OfflineSeussA
Error: divide byzero

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Registered: 04/27/01
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Re: Moths could eat hole in cocaine market [Re: veggie]
    #4274908 - 06/09/05 06:44 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

> unleash an army of hungry moth caterpillars on the plants that produce cocaine

And when the moths have eaten all the plants that produce cocaine, they simply decide life isn't worth living and die rather than moving on to another species of plant to eat.


--------------------
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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Registered: 06/15/02
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Re: Moths could eat hole in cocaine market [Re: Seuss]
    #4275251 - 06/09/05 11:25 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Seuss said:
> unleash an army of hungry moth caterpillars on the plants that produce cocaine

And when the moths have eaten all the plants that produce cocaine, they simply decide life isn't worth living and die rather than moving on to another species of plant to eat.




Exactly. When they are on the come-down from ingesting all of that coca, they will get all depressed.


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InvisibleSuperD
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Registered: 10/05/03
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Re: Moths could eat hole in cocaine market [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #4275477 - 06/09/05 12:45 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

<<And when the moths have eaten all the plants that produce cocaine, they simply decide life isn't worth living and die rather than moving on to another species of plant to eat.>>

My thoughts exactly. But who cares if they wipe out other vegetation, they'll eradicate a small percentage of coca plants, right? What could be more important than stopping a miniscule percentage of cocaine from being produced and shipped to the US? Their priorities and logic are clearly well thought out.


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:super:D
Manoa said:
I need to stop spending all my money on plants and take up a cheaper hobby, like heroin. :lol:

Looking for Rauhocereus riosaniensis seeds or live specimen(s), :pm: me if you have any for trade


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InvisibleLe_Canard
The Duk Abides

Registered: 05/17/03
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Loc: Earthfarm 1 Flag
Re: Moths could eat hole in cocaine market [Re: veggie]
    #4275497 - 06/09/05 12:53 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Great idea! They may devastate an already endangered ecosystem, but we'll be rid of those evil drugs... :rolleyes:


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OfflineLethalX5
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Re: Moths could eat hole in cocaine market [Re: Le_Canard]
    #4277447 - 06/09/05 09:26 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Seuss said:
> unleash an army of hungry moth caterpillars on the plants that produce cocaine

And when the moths have eaten all the plants that produce cocaine, they simply decide life isn't worth living and die rather than moving on to another species of plant to eat.





Cant they just breed the moths so they don't breed in the wild. like give them a lil dose of radiation so they are unable to spawn. that way damage to other plant life would be minimal


--------------------
"To get what you've never had, You must do what you've never done."


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InvisibleRavus
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Registered: 07/18/03
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Re: Moths could eat hole in cocaine market [Re: LethalX5]
    #4277565 - 06/09/05 09:54 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

I don't think this would work if they didn't reproduce. You couldn't release enough sterile moths so that they would wipe out hundreds of acres of coca fields.


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So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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OfflineLethalX5
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Re: Moths could eat hole in cocaine market [Re: Ravus]
    #4278190 - 06/10/05 01:30 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

they would breed them all in labs. they do the same things with bees


--------------------
"To get what you've never had, You must do what you've never done."


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: Moths could eat hole in cocaine market [Re: LethalX5]
    #4278816 - 06/10/05 06:42 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

they would breed them all in labs. they do the same things with bees




Did you read the story?

Quote:

Gomez, whose group made the proposal last week to the government, 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.




It isn't the moth that kills the plant, but the caterpillars that hatch from the eggs the moth lays. As Ravus said, it won't work if the moths are sterile.


--------------------
Just another spore in the wind.


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OfflineLethalX5
Male

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Re: Moths could eat hole in cocaine market [Re: Seuss]
    #4280413 - 06/10/05 04:41 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Seuss said:
Quote:

they would breed them all in labs. they do the same things with bees




Did you read the story?

Quote:

Gomez, whose group made the proposal last week to the government, 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.




It isn't the moth that kills the plant, but the caterpillars that hatch from the eggs the moth lays.  As Ravus said, it won't work if the moths are sterile.






ya....my bad  :blush:


--------------------
"To get what you've never had, You must do what you've never done."


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