U of A Researchers Urge Caution in Biofuels Enterprise

SEPTEMBER 22, 2006 - Posted at 7:59 a.m. CDT

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - Biofuels are generating hope that alternative energy sources, such as corn and soybeans, can reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil at less expense to consumers and the environment.  But University of Arkansas researchers caution there may be a downside.

Entomology professor Robert N. Wiedenmann and several of his colleagues are calling for ecological studies on crops that have biofuel potential before putting these crops into large-scale production.  Although the crops seem benign, they can spread to other fields where they aren't wanted, becoming invasive and causing millions of dollars in losses.

The researchers argue for more collaboration among scientists involved in biofuel research in today's issue of Science.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)