Biological warfare against Cannabis and other plants
Excerpt from The Annual Report for Classical Biological Control of Narcotic Plants
"University of California scientists are now working jointly on this project with ARS personnel. They have organized overseas cooperators who will conduct foreign exploration trips to identify new natural enemies of Cannabis sativa in Eurasia and have made preliminary assessments in China and Kazakhstan. Cooperative projects are now being established with scientific institutions in each of these countries and research plans are now being made to identify, collect and test natural enemies of the target plant in each of these countries. UC Davis and ARS scientists have already visited India and Nepal where some natural enemies were located. Project personnel have begun assembling the plant growth and testing facilities in the US for quarantine host-specificity and efficacy evaluations. We expect DEA certification in the fall of 2002 and have been training personnel on surrogate natural enemies so that Cannabis testing can begin as soon as plant and insect materials are available. This work is expected to allow the testing and selection of new effective and safe biological control agents to aid in the management of Cannabis sativa in the United States."
"Research was initiated on this project at the request of Congress and the State Department to identify new biologically based methods of controlling marijuana. Cooperating foreign institutions in Italy, Russia, China and Kazakhstan conducted both field and literature surveys for natural enemies of Cannabis sativa and selected two primary candidates (Psylliodes attenuata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and Cardipennis rubripes (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) to begin further host-specificity and biology research on.
"If eventually found appropriate for use, these agents will be evaluated in US quarantine facilities and might be used to control cannabis in the United States".
"Such agents will first be evaluated under quarantine conditions, further considered for effectiveness using newly developed computer simulation models and then finally made available when determined to be appropriate for general field release and approved by regulatory agencies. This should lead to the availability of new biological control agents for this narcotic plant".
To begin with, the unprofessional character of this study can be readily appreciated by pointing out that Cannabis is not a "narcotic plant". Cannabis is in fact the best available source of organic vegetable protein on Earth, and a uniquely essential, critically determinate organic rotational crop.
Biological warfare against the most useful agricultural resource on Earth is a critical mistake. Clearly this violates common sense, several laws, and international treaties, including the recently ratified.
THE INTERNATIONAL TREATY ON PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
"Plant genetic resources for food and agriculture are crucial in feeding the world’s population. They are the raw material that farmers and plant breeders use to improve the quality and productivity of our crops. The future of agriculture depends on international cooperation and on the open exchange of the crops and their genes that farmers all over the world have developed and exchanged over 10,000 years. No country is sufficient in itself. All depend on crops and the genetic diversity within these crops from other countries and regions.
"After seven years of negotiations, the FAO Conference (through Resolution 3/2001) adopted the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, in November 2001. This legally-binding Treaty covers all plant genetic resources relevant for food and agriculture. It is in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity.
"The Treaty is vital in ensuring the continued availability of the plant genetic resources that countries will need to feed their people. We must conserve for future generations the genetic diversity that is essential for food and agriculture."
Obviously the implications of such irrationality demonstrated in this research go beyond issues of scientific competence and inconsistency of government policy. In the interest of being somewhat brief, anyone interested in further analysis and referenced opinion is welcome to visit the newest of several P.E.A.C.E. blogs, at Ref. 1)
1. Project Peace
2. "Classical Biological Control of Narcotic Plants" ARS Annual Report
3. "The international treaty on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture"
4. "Global System on Plant Genetic Resources"