Professor creates ‘drinkable’ pesticide in China

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/17 18:58:39

A university biologist in Southwest China encouraged people to drink pesticide at his lab on Thursday.

Viscous and green, the biological pesticide was recently approved for mass production in China - and its inventor has quite the sales pitch.

"The pesticide has two ingredients-cooking oil and rice," said Xia Yuxian, professor at School of Life Sciences, Chongqing University. "Unlike many traditional pesticides, it may even be less toxic than a grilled meal."

Biopesticides are commonly  derived from natural sources that evolved their own defense mechanism against pests.

In Xia's case, the active ingredient is Metarhizium, a predatory fungus that for years has produced strains known to infect insects such as beetles but is non-toxic to humans.

Xia's research first received funding from the National 863 Program in 2006. It was recently approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and will soon be produced in large volumes, according to Xia.

"Our monthly output will be 20 tons," Xia said, an amazing feat considering biological pesticides are difficult to make and are often produced in relatively small amounts.

Approval for production, however, is not necessarily a sign of safety, and further evaluations may be required.

But for now, at least it passes the taste test.

"It's fresh," said a brave volunteer at Xia's laboratory on Thursday. "Add some sugar and it might be a popular drink."

Chongqing Evening News

Posted in: ODD NEWS

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