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APIA, Samoa (January 29, 1998 - PACNEWS/Tohi)---Samoa's Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Molio'o Teofilo, has suggested that people eat the Giant African Snail as an efficient way to control the farm pest.

The Minister made the suggestion in Parliament during debate on the matter.

The suggestion is not a new one, however. A local French chef once attempted to add African snails to his restaurant's menu, without success. When he tried, employees did not turn up for work.

There is a general feeling of fear among Samoans, PACNEWS reports, that the snails might be poisonous.

The pest, which destroys agricultural crops by eating their leaves, is believed to have been introduced into Samoa from neighboring American Samoa through cargo shipments.

Agricultural officials plan to use chemicals to control the snails.

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