Sunday, July 17, 2005

Souder proposes bioterrorism

Our intrepid prohibition pusher Marc Souder is at it again. Joined by his compatriot in Congress, Dan Burton, they have proposed restoring funding for renewed testing of mycoheribicide, a dangerous biological agent.

For a detailed scientific analysis of this stuff is, see Jeremy Bigwood's article, but let me it boil it down for you into layman's terms. It's basically a spore for a fungus that reproduces quickly and unlike chemical agents, never breaks down. Centuries from now, it could still be causing crop failures if run amok. And no one can really predict what it's going to do. It tends to mutate.

Our government, all the back to the Clinton administration has recognized mycoherbicide for what it is, a public relations liability and an environmental disaster. It's not allowed to be used in the United States and most Andean countries also prohibit its use. That doesn't bother the Congressmen however. They want it to be tested soon in a major drug producing country near you.
"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.
Of course, it could also ultimately reduce the flow of corn, wheat and cotton since there's no way to control it, but these guys don't really care about some future world famine when they need some "winning" statistics in the war on some drugs right now.

The amendment was adopted into the bill. One hopes our more sensible legislators will head it off before it's actually funded.


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