Invasive Species' Unchecked Growth Costs Billions
House Agriculture Subcommittee to call federal and scientific organizations

September 30, 2002 - Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus, strange-looking fish known as "snakeheads," and a glassy-winged sharpshooter whose deadly aim could kill off the California wine industry are among a growing list of invasive species that federal and scientific organizations will detail before a hearing of the House Agriculture Department Operations Subcommittee, Wednesday, October 2 at 10 a.m. in 1300 Longworth House Office Building.

"I remain alarmed at the alien plants, pests and animals whose unchecked growth threaten public health, cost the U.S. economy up to $100 billion annually, and menace nearly half of the species already listed as threatened or endangered," said Subcommittee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, (R-VA). "Coordination among federal agencies is vital to prevent them, but where prevention has failed, the priority is to contain and eradicate these invasive species."

Scheduled witnesses testifying before the Subcommittee include representatives from USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, The Smithsonian, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, National Weed Science Society, American Seed Trade Association, and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

Members of Congress and the public may view a collection of invasive species in Room 1302 Longworth House Office Building, the morning of the hearing and until 2 p.m. that afternoon. The hearing will convene at 10 a.m. in the Main Committee Room, 1300 Longworth.

Invasive species are non-native species of plants, animals, and pests that cause harm to human health, the environment or the economy. For example:

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