The Australian government is going to spend $11 million giving herpes to its carp population in an effort to annihilate the invasive species, inviting criticism from scientists.
It could cause “catastrophic ecosystem crashes,” constituting “a serious risk to global food security,” as researchers warned in an academic journal called Nature Ecology & Evolution.
According to Foreign Policy.com:
“Australia has a serious carp problem. The country imported European carp for fish farming in the 1850s, but some were accidentally released into the wild in the 1960s. Since then, their population has exploded and now millions are clogging up key river arteries. The fish now constitute over 90 percent of the aquatic biomass in Australia’s largest river system. They’re destroying the ecosystem and starving out native wildlife in the process, costing the country an estimated $500 million a year in economic impact.
So last year, the government came up with an idea to eliminate the fishy pest with some good old fashioned biowarfare: releasing a strain of carp herpes into the wild to let the virus thin out the population.
In a 2016 “Carp Press Conference,” Australian lawmakers said releasing a strain of carp herpes that leaves other native wildlife unharmed will wipe out 95 percent of the European carp population over the next 30 years to confront what they call the “Carpageddon.””
Even the most mainstream scientists and news outlets seem to despise biowarfare, even when disguised as beneficial.
Business Insider apparently decided to keep their viral streak going when it comes to biowarfare, after their article about Operation Sea Spray in San Francisco went viral in 2015.
A 2016 article from Business Insider sports the headline: “Over and over again, the military has conducted dangerous biowarfare experiments on Americans.” That article went viral as well, at 147,000 views as of today.
Maybe this is something we can all agree on: the government shouldn’t wipe out entire species of fish with herpes, or spray residents with bacteria without their consent.
Make no mistake, this is one event in a long timeline of mad science and it will not cease unless we pay attention.