An interesting story I heard while in Melbourne Australia last week was about the development of the perfect pest poison. I got this from a renowned gardening guru and wonder if anyone has heard it as well. In Aussie, there is a toxic sweet pea which the indigenous animals are immune to (botanists in the UK early on didn't believe this but a dog which ate the berries died almost instantly) . They have built up a defense to it over the years and now the Kangas happily munch away, even though the seetpea has been increasing the toxidity of it's berries at the same time to try to avoid being eaten. Scientists have made the perfect poison from this plant - 1080. It is perfect because it's harmless to native animals in Oz, only killing imported pests. The interesting factor is that here in NZ, we use barrel loads of it every month even though the plant it comes from is not indigenous to our country. Biological science gone mad.
in November 2008