To Spike or Not to Spike?

Targeting Peru's coca crop

Tebuthiuron, better known by the trade name Spike, is a herbicide used to get rid of mesquite from rangeland and brush from along utility power lines in the arid American Southwest. Made only by Eli Lilly, the giant Indianapolis chemical company, Spike attacks woody plants for up to three years. After searching for several years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture discovered that Spike not only kills weeds but may be the first effective herbicide against the hardy coca plant, the source of cocaine.

As part of its war on drugs, the U.S. reached an agreement with Peru to test Spike's effectiveness...

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