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Well would you look at that; Another GM insect being introduced to kill another GM insect, introducing the: Frankenmoth


The landmark trial, however, has sparked widespread concern among environmentalists who fear it might create uncontrollable new species and affect the ecosystem, reports the Daily Mail. 
Aedes aegypti male mosquitoe
female Aedes aegypti mosquitoe

The field test is meant to pave the way for the official use of genetically engineered Aedes aegypti male mosquitoes to mate with females and produce offspring with shorter lives, thus curtailing the population. 
Only female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes spread dengue fever.

However, the plan has sparked criticism by some Malaysian environmentalists, who fear it might have unforeseen consequences, such as the inadvertent creation of uncontrollable mutated mosquitoes.

They also said such plans could leave a vacuum in the ecosystem that is then filled by another insect species, potentially introducing new diseases. 

Scientists have confirmed five incidents of insects evolving resistance to Bt toxins in the field to date: Bt cotton in India (2010) and US (2008), moth pests in maize in Puerto Rico (2007) and South Africa (2007) and a beetle pest in maize in the US (2011).

Reasons for resistance developing are:
*Failure to provide adequate non-GM refuges in GM crops to ensure non-resistant adult insects can survive to breed with resistant ones so that the resistance gene does not become dominant. Refuges are required by US laws that are widely flouted.
*Levels of Bt toxin in the crops too low to deliver lethal doses to pests.

Sub-lethal doses mean resistance can develop as pests survive, mate and pass on the resistance gene. If the number of resistant individuals is high they can multiply quite rapidly and become dominant.

Monsanto has admitted the failure of their Bt cotton to control the pink bollworm has caused widespread damage in crops in Gujarat, but has tried to shift the blame onto farmers. [2] Pesticide costs on infested crops are reported to have risen by a nearly a third.

Diamondback Larva

Millions of genetically modified insects designed to destroy food crop pests could be released into the countryside.
The Government is considering plans by a British company for the ‘open release’ of a GM strain of the diamondback moth, which it has developed. Diamondback moths attack cabbages, broccoli, cauliflowers and similar crops.
Cauliflower infested with DBM 

With the GM strain a lethal gene is inserted into the male of the species so that when they mate with wild females, their offspring die almost immediately, causing the population to crash.

That could lead to increasing crop yields and profits for farmers.
The company involved, Oxitec, is keen to begin trials next year, but it faces opposition from groups who say the untested technology could threaten wildlife and human health.

Oxitec is a pioneer in controlling insects that spread disease and damage crops.

Through world class science we are playing our part in tackling the major global challenges of keeping people healthy and increasing food production. And we are doing so in a way that is sustainable, environmentally friendly and cost effective.

The idea that man is ‘playing God’ in this way is also controversial.
Dr Helen Wallace, the director of GeneWatch UK, who has sat on government advisory bodies, said the release of GM ‘Frankenmoths’ is potentially disastrous.

Welcome to GeneWatch UK

GeneWatch UK is a not-for-profit group that monitors developments in genetic technologies from a public interest, human rights, environmental protection and animal welfare perspective. GeneWatch believes people should have a voice in whether or how these technologies are used and campaigns for safeguards for people, animals and the environment. We work on all aspects of genetic technologies - from GM crops and foods to genetic testing of humans.

‘Mass releases of GM insects into the British countryside would be impossible to recall if anything went wrong,’ she said.
‘Changing one part of an ecosystem can have knock-on effects on others in ways that are poorly understood. This could include an increase in different types of pest. Wildlife that feeds on insects could be harmed if there are changes to their food supply. 


Oxitec’s chief executive said there was a demand from British farmers for genetically modified diamondback moths and that UK trials could start next year.
Hadyn Parry said using GM insects to kill the pests that prey on food crops is better for the environment than harsh chemical sprays.
‘Normally if I go over a crop with a pesticide, I kill all the insects that chemical touches, whether they are the ones I want to kill or whether they are beneficial,’ he said. 
Mr Parry added that it had been decided to genetically modify the diamondback moth because it develops resistance to chemical pesticides very quickly.
‘In terms of the technology, it is ready now,’ he said. ‘We could do a trial in 2012, subject to what the regulatory authorities want us to do.’ 
He said he expects there will be opposition to the technology in the UK and Europe, but that ‘regulators are really keen on making sure that there is no harm to the environment or unforeseen consequences.’
‘GM insects that bite animals or humans could cause allergies or transmit diseases and new diseases might evolve.’


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