Feeds

GM cocaine 'grown in Colombia'

But it could just be the compost...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Colombian coca plant farmers have developed genetically modified strains of the plant, the Financial Times claims.

Anti-drug officers in the remote Sierra Nevada region of northern Colombia have discovered a new variety of coca plant that can grow up to 2.7m (9ft) tall - double the normal size - and produce four times as much cocaine as ordinary coca plants.

Foreign agronomists have helped the coca growers to develop the new strain of plant, which is resistant to many commonly used herbicides and can yield as much as four times the regular concentration of cocaine, the FT reports

However Camilo Uribe, a Colombian toxicologist, told Reuters that there is no evidence that the plants are genetically modified. Their extreme size could be because of "an excess of fertiliser", he said.

A spokesman for the US embassy in Bogota told BBC News that there was "no scientific proof" that "transgenic coca" had been developed, although rumours of its existence were rife.

The increased yield from these new strains of coca plant could help to explain why cocaine production has stayed constant despite the Colombian government's claim that the area under coca cultivation has halved since 2000.

Under the government of President Alvaro Uribe, elected in 2002, Colombia has attempted to crack down on cocaine production across the country.

Uribe is an enthusiastic supporter of Plan Colombia, a US initiative to train Colombia's security forces and provide them with equipment and intelligence to tackle drug traffickers and destroy coca crops before they can be processed into cocaine.

Colombia is the world's third largest recipient of US military aid. ®

Related stories

Scientists call for nanotech caution
Boffins grow breasts on mice
Cocaine props up German dotcommers

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.