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killer fungus to eradicate florida´s pot crops..

salimandr nli
07/12/2005 11:44 AM
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killer fungus to eradicate florida´s pot crops..
the first part is an older article, the middle part explains what has happened already with bringing non-native plants into florida. the final part is the newest news...floridians who aren´t involved heavily with the hurricanes...may want to get a hold of someone to stop this?


Florida´s drug czar favors testing the fungus. State scientists fear it
could run amok on crops other than marijuana.

St. Petersburg Times, © July 17, 1999

TALLAHASSEE -- There´s a killer fungus among us, and Florida´s new drug czar
Jim McDonough hopes to one day let it loose to murder the state´s illegal
marijuana crops.

Only one problem: Scientists at the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection fear the fungus could mutate, spread and kill off everything from
tomatoes to endangered plants.

McDonough, who came to Florida to join Gov. Jeb Bush´s administration after
working for White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey, has been holding meetings
in Tallahassee to try to get state agencies on board with the idea of
testing Fusarium oxysporum, a co-called "´mycoherbicide," in Florida.

"´It´s not been used yet," McDonough said, adding that if Florida were to
test the soil-borne fungus, it would do so in a state quarantine facility in
Gainesville, where researchers isolate citrus canker and other plant
diseases. Before it could ever be released, it would need extensive review.

The Montana company that is developing the killer fungus, Ag/Bio Con., gave
state officials literature saying the fungus "does not affect animals,
humans or any other crops."

DEP scientists reached a far different conclusion: "It is difficult, if not
impossible, to control the spread of Fusarium species," DEP Secretary David
Struhs wrote in a letter to McDonough. "The inability to guarantee that the
organism will not mutate and attack other plant species is of most concern.

"Mutation of the organism would not only threaten Florida´s natural
environment, but would also put at risk our economically vital agricultural

Florida´s warm soils, Struhs wrote, could make the mutation worse. The
fungus can remain in the soil for as long as 40 years.

"Without considerably more information to address the concerns noted above,"
Struhs wrote, "I strongly recommend that Florida not proceed further with
this proposal."

McDonough followed up with a letter to Struhs and Agriculture Commissioner
Bob Crawford: "Before we conclude that it cannot be done," McDonough wrote,
"let us take every opportunity to consider how it might be done safely."

In June, both Struhs and Crawford signed off on the idea of quarantine
testing in Gainesville, and that´s as far as the proposal has gone.
McDonough said he has not pitched the idea to Gov. Jeb Bush.

McDonough has the backing of U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Longwood, who called
mycoherbicides the "silver bullet" in the war on drugs. McCollum and U.S.
Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., helped push for $23-million that Congress
appropriated this year to eradicate plants that provide the raw material for
cocaine, heroin and marijuana. The money is earmarked for research in
foreign countries, but McDonough wants to see if he can get some of the
funds for Florida.

Tim Moore, commissioner for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, said
the fungus could be a valuable addition to the state´s anti-drug arsenal, as
long as tests prove it is safe.

Another supporter is Betty Sembler of St. Petersburg, wife of developer Mel
Sembler, one of the Republican party´s biggest fund-raisers. Mrs. Sembler is
an anti-drug activist who founded the group Drug Free America. She says she
supports the idea of using bio-control on drug crops because she thinks it
is a better than spraying pesticides like Paraquat.

Information provided by McCollum´s office says, "There is no danger to the

An old Florida story

Government foresters once spread the seeds of Australian melaleuca trees
over the Everglades to help drain the swamp. Now, decades later, the state
is waging a chemical and biological war against the noxious trees. Like
arboreal shock troops, melaleuca trees have marched through the Everglades,
draining wetlands years after the state decided that the Everglades were
better off wet in the first place

Kudzu, a Chinese vine, was distributed by the government to control erosion
in the 1920s and soon became a botanical bully, growing as much as a foot
per day.

Water hyacinth, a plague in Florida lakes and rivers, was carried into the
state by a woman who lived near Palatka. She saw the pretty floating flower
at the World´s Fair in New Orleans and brought it home to put in her fish
pond. It spread, and now the state spends millions of tax dollars to spray
pesticides into the water.

In fact, Florida is so concerned about the spread of exotic plants that,
last year, the Legislature more than doubled the amount of money set aside
to battle botanical invaders on state lands during the next decade.

"Our concern (with McDonough´s proposal) is that we don´t want to move
forward with anything that creates more problems than it solves," said Jerry
Brooks, assistant director of the DEP´s division of water resources.

Florida´s pot crop

On an average year, the state confiscates about 100,000 plants, Broadway

North Florida typically has the biggest pot crops. But statewide, urban
indoor growers have been harvesting more and more of Florida´s homegrown

Last year, FDLE only confiscated about 55,000 plants, because drought and
wildfires sent growers indoors. Pinellas County was second to Miami-Dade
County in pot-growing arrests and indoor growing operations last year.
Spreading a killer fungus wouldn´t put a dent in the indoor crop, which is
providing increasingly potent strains of marijuana.

Predictably, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws said
McDonough is proposing to use a sledgehammer to kill a flea.

"´It looked like they wanted to debut these (mycoherbicides) in South
America, but the governments down there didn´t want any part of it. They
didn´t want to be America´s guinea pigs," said Paul Armentano, a spokesman
for NORML in Washington. "I´m pretty shocked to hear that someone would
suggest testing this in an American state."

But McDonough says Florida is the ideal place to test the fungus.

"Unfortunately, we have a wonderful climate and a wonderful soil for growing
marijuana," said McDonough. "I´m concerned about the supply. Florida is off
the map in its marijuana usage. It is not a benign drug. It is a dangerous

FDLE Commissioner Moore agreed: "If there´s some proven, safe way to augment
our efforts to keep marijuana and its associated miseries off the street,
then I´d support it."


From Congressperson Dan Burton´s Office
Media Advisory Office of Congressman Dan Burton
Fifth District, Indiana
2185 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515
(202)-225-2276 FAX

For immediate release
June 16, 2005

Chairmen Burton & Souder Praise House Committee Passage Of Illegal Drug
Crop Reduction Legislation

Burton Provision in ONDCP Reauthorization Bill Allows Mycoherbicide
Testing to Eradicate Drug Crops

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressmen Dan Burton (R-IN), Chairman of the House
International Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and Mark
Souder (R-IN), Chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on
Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources, released the following
statement today regarding the House Committee on Government Reform´s
passage of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act
of 2005 (ONDCP Act) by a unanimous voice vote.

"We spend millions of dollars every year on counter-narcotic efforts,
including drug crop eradication and interdiction, especially in our joint
efforts in Colombia, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, yet the flow of illegal
and lethal narcotics continues to be a major problem in our country,"
stated Congressman Burton. "The advent of mycoherbicides and other
counter-narcotic alternatives offers us the possibility to cut off the
source of these drugs literally at their roots."

"If proven to be successful, mycoherbicide could revolutionize our drug
eradication efforts," House Drug Policy Chairman Mark Souder said.
"Mycoherbicide research needs to be investigated, and we need to begin
testing it in the field. The potential benefit of these fungi is
tremendous. My Hoosier colleague should be commended for advancing this
initiative, and I´m pleased that his amendment was adopted into the bill."

Chairman Burton´s provision, which was adopted in the manager´s amendment,
instructs the Director of the ONDCP to present Congress - within 90 days
of the law´s enactment - a plan of action to insure that an expedited,
complete, and thorough peer review of the science of mycoherbicide as a
means of illicit drug crop elimination is conducted by the appropriate
government scientific research entity. The provision also calls for a plan
of action to conduct controlled scientific testing of naturally existing
mycoherbicide in a major drug producing nation.

Mycoherbicides are naturally occurring plant pathogenic fungi that are
currently applied pre or post-emergence for the control of weeds.
Scientists have recently begun to study the possibility of manipulating
mycoherbicides to combat certain drug crops under specific conditions.

"I am very hopeful that with the proper scientific research and testing,
mycoherbicides can be utilized as an effective tool to help eradicate
poppy and coca fields around the world and ultimately reduce the flow of
drugs coming into our country," concluded Chairman Burton.

"I am also hopeful that the strong bipartisan support that this provision
enjoyed in the Committee on Government Reform will carry over when the
bill is brought to a vote on the House floor. To that end, I look forward
to working with Speaker Hastert and Chairman Hyde, as well as Congressmen
Souder, and Rohrabacher, as we continue to wage the war on drugs."

To learn more about the ONDCP Act, please go to www.loc.thomas.gov.

For more information regarding Chairman Burton´s current drug trafficking
legislative and investigative initiatives, please visit his Subcommittee´s
website at [link to wwwc.house.gov]

(Burton) Nick Mutton - 202.225.2276JUNE 16, 2005
(Souder) Martin Green - 202.225.4436
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:12 AM
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Re: killer fungus to eradicate florida´s pot crops..
Popcorn trees taking over the SE USA.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:12 AM
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Re: killer fungus to eradicate florida´s pot crops..
Weed Alert!

Sapium sebiferum
(syn. Triadica sinensis)
(Chinese Tallowtree, Florida Aspen, Popcorn Tree)

Summary: known invaders sighted in new areas
We have found numerous Sapium sebiferum trees of various sizes, from saplings to young-mature trees, growing in native vegetation along the American River Parkway in Sacramento, California. This is the first documented report of this species in California. There is also an undocumented report of two trees growing along streams in Placer County, California. We have also found many plants in constructed wetlands in Yolo County, California. S. sebiferum is widely used in California, the southeastern coastal US, and other warm areas worldwide because of its interesting white fruit and attractive cottonwood-like foliage which turns red in the fall.

[link to tncweeds.ucdavis.edu]
12/08/2005 10:12 AM
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Re: killer fungus to eradicate florida´s pot crops..
Shit ,, as long as it doesn´t make it into Cali or alaska I´m fine. I love my alaskan Thunderfuck and Humbolt county weedz :P
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:12 AM
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Re: killer fungus to eradicate florida´s pot crops..
These are the same BRAINIACs that gave us KILLER BEES!!!
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:12 AM
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Re: killer fungus to eradicate florida´s pot crops..
For those who are interested: Much info here:

The Invasive Species Initiative

[link to tncweeds.ucdavis.edu]
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:12 AM
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Re: killer fungus to eradicate florida´s pot crops..
Does anybody remember Paraquat...now them was good times...wait a second I´ve got to itch my third ball...there ahh.