LETTER TO BILL BRADLEY FROM RICHARD J. KERR RE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE USE OF VIRUS

Created: 7/14/1989

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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The Honorable Bill Bradley United States Senate Washington, DC

Dear Senator Bradley:

Regarding your question about the use of viruses toAgency experts: me that while it is

probably true that vi^lse^coTiTc^De used to attack coca plants, none of the viruses implicated as pathogens of coca have been determined to attack only coca. Additionally, to our knowledge there have been no experiments on the use of viruses to control coca. There are other pathogens, particularly fungi, and insect biocontrols, that have been studied for use against coca and other drug crops. While these studies indicate that pathogen fbJni and insect biocontrols have the potential to be effective in uppressing narcotics crop production, there are serious drawbacks and concerns that require extensive research and evaluation before they can be seriously considered for implementation. MM

To date, the most promising biocontrol method has been developed for use against marijuana. The method uses pollen, instead of pathogens or insects, to reduce the quality and economic value of marijuana harvests. The method simply uses pollen harvested from low potency marijuana plants to pollinate marijuana fields. In addition to reducing the quality and value of the marijuana crop, this method genetically ruins the seed stock harvested from the pollinated fields which is in turn used to plant the next season's crop. An added benefit of this method is that it is virtually risk free, since the pollen occurs naturally in the environment and does not interact with any other plant but marijuana, similar methods of control are under consideration for coca and opium poppy. |H

If you have additionalould be glad to have one of our officers from the DCI Counternarcotics Center, who is an expert on the subject of biocontrols, brief you in detail. WMmmm

jj LAA-iT

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