once again been ranked
as the nation's biggest meth-producing state based on the number of drug labs busted last year.
According to Missouri Highway Patrol figures published today in the Post-Dispatch
, law enforcement seized 1,774 meth labs in 2009 -- up 20 percent from the 1,487 confiscated in 2008
Missouri outpaced the No. 2 state -- Indiana -- which had 1,096 meth lab busts in 2009. Jefferson County, Missouri, led the state with 227 labs confiscated last year.
The news comes as Missouri legislature considers a bill
that would require pseudoephedrine -- the key ingredient for meth -- to be sold only as a prescription.
reports that nationwide the number of meth lab busts increased 27 percent last year. One of the reasons for the surge could be a pseudoephedrine ban that went into effect last year in Mexico that has weakened the quality of the meth produced in that country and shipped to the United States.
Related content: Drug Companies Fight Missouri Effort to Make Sudafed a Prescription Drug