It's called mile-a-minute weed or "forest killer." Mikania micrantha is an exotic, invasive species that spreads quickly, covering crops, smothering trees and rapidly altering the environment.

"Mikaniais considered one of the world's worst invader weeds, and it is having a significant impact on agriculture in India and China. If there are crop species, it will grow over them. It grows extremely fast, up and over trees, as quickly as three inches per day."

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Follow up to Invasive Species - GMO Dilemma.

The Asian Citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) is an invasive, non-native insect that infects citrus crops with the bacterium Liberibacter asiaticus that causes a plant disease known as "citrus greening". The disease moves internally through the plant - external symptoms are seen in later stages, and yellow shoots or blotchy mottling and/or yellowing of the leaves, excessive leaf drop, the fruit ripens unevenly and becomes lopsided, and is visibly smaller and bitter-tasting.  Seeds within the fruit fail to fully develop and are aborted (USDA APHIS).

Florida and Georgia are under quarantine for this disease.

The only way to kill the disease is to burn the diseased tree. Also, if traps catch infected psyllids, every tree within a given radius of that insect are burned as a precaution.

So, since chemicals do not work against this insect or the disease, the industry is looking at genetically modifying orange trees to be resistant to the bacterium. Here is more information. What are your thoughts on this given the current climate on genetically modified food? If this is successful, it may save Florida and Georgia's orange and citrus crops. How should the companies "sell" their products to the "anti-GMO" crowd, or general public who are suspicious of transgenic technology?


Southern Citrus Crops and GMO tests



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