Today's "Toxic News for the Net" brought to you by the OPPT Library
"U.S. Funds Fungi to Kill Drug Plants." USA Today, 22 October 98, A1.
Researchers attempting to create strains of fungi that will
kill opium poppies and coca plants will receive $23 million to
continue their work as part of the spending bill approved by
Congress. The plants are used to create opium and heroin, and
if successful, the Department of Agriculture's research could
have a significant impact on the nation's ability to combat
the illegal-drug trade. Similar research for marijuana is
being considered. However, some worry that the fungi could
damage other plants or harm the land. Charles Mazza, a
horticulturalist at Cornell University, said that the project
should not be rushed because "`One year a fungus might be
promising, and the next year it might leap over into a corn
field...It has to be tested every step of the way.'"
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