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USDA approves release of moth to fight toxic weed

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:05 a.m. HST, Dec 13, 2012

Hawaii agriculture officials have won approval to introduce a moth to fight a fast-spreading weed toxic to cattle. 

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye’s office said in a statement Wednesday the state won approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  

Fireweed or Madagascar ragwort has no natural predator in Hawaii. Inouye says the plant could double its land area in 10 years if left unchecked. 

Inouye says it’s already too widespread for officials to feasibly and economically fight with chemical sprays. 

The plant is native to Madagascar. It’s not known when it was introduced to Hawaii, but it showed up in Hawaii island pastures in the 1980s. It’s also widespread on Maui.

Inouye says he hopes the moth will help ensure Hawaii’s cattle industry will continue to thrive. 

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false wrote:
I hope the moths love GMO corn
on December 12,2012 | 10:49PM
1local wrote:
hope the USDA knows the moth lays eggs that hatch into vegetation eating caterpillars that will require pesticide to keep them under control. Caterpillars eat Non- GMO corn also...
on December 13,2012 | 08:34AM
Biggy2011 wrote:
Wait until the moth starts to thrive.... Ask anyone from the midwest what its like in the spring and fall with thousands of moths all stuck on the side of a wall just waiting to be disturbed.
on December 13,2012 | 05:34AM
serious wrote:
Don't mess with Mother Nature. Look at the mongoose and the egret!!!
on December 13,2012 | 05:51AM
aomohoa wrote:
on December 13,2012 | 03:28PM
Numilalocal wrote:
Yikes we might AGAIN be reminded of the law of unintended consequences!
on December 13,2012 | 08:46AM
hanoz808 wrote:
on December 13,2012 | 09:17AM
aomohoa wrote:
I'm not sure this is a good idea. Ever time we try to mess with mother nature it turns out badly.
on December 13,2012 | 03:27PM
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