A natural yeast found in a beetle's stomach can neutralize deadly farm chemicals and natural toxins that sometimes are found in the nation's food supply, according two government scientists.

Entomologists Patrick F. Dowd and Samuel K. Shen of the Agriculture Department's Agricultural Research Service said that if preliminary tests are borne out in further experiments, the yeast could be used to remove potentially harmful toxins from livestock feed and to clean up the environment."Although we're not yet sure of its full range of detoxifying ability, the implication we see here is for the environmental cleanup situations, like toxic waste dumps," Shen said.

If the yeast can be developed properly, it could be mass-produced to detoxify a wide variety of plant and chemical toxins in the environment, he said in a report issued by the USDA agency.