In the U.S., the
already-released genetically-modified insects
(mosquitoes in 2013, moths in 2014/15) :
1. The release was done outside a regulatory system (no consultations), and citizens responded:
2. The regulatory system was circumvented. Scroll down to the report GM Moths Field Release …
Aside: I view the biotech industry in the following light:
Genetically-modified crops (seeds) have attendant chemicals. The crop and the chemical are designed to work together. You don’t get the crop without the chemical (and then more chemicals to kill the “weeds” that are resistant to the attendant chemical).
The chemical-biotech corporations with their international lobby machine “CropLife” are happy to kill off the bees. It’s the “neonic” class of chemical that is known to kill bees, and which is banned in other countries. Fight as you might in North America, the effort to protect the pollinators by banning the neonics is a losing battle. The industry has corrupted the Legislators and the Regulators and the Educators.
Here now, we have GM “autocidal” moths from Oxitec, with no public discussion (circumvented regulatory process).
I know absolutely for sure that the corporations are not to be trusted. The public interest is not their interest. I know absolutely for sure that the regulators are not to be trusted. The GM moth story is but one in a long line that includes the neonics.
Moths are significant pollinators. Does Oxitec really know what it is doing with its Genetically-Modified moths? Or, are we allowing yet another assault on pollinators? Down the road will there be oops! unintended outcomes?
Citizens and knowledge have no place in a corporatocracy.
In both GM insect cases (mosquitoes and moths) the company is Oxitec, but the affairs of the other biotech corporations are also conducted without regard for due process. They corrupt Government and the knowledge base (“science” / universities).
In the case of GM mosquitoes, the 2013 report was of 3.5 million released in the Cayman Islands, 4 million released in Brazil – – I don’t think it was revealed how many were released in the U.S. . . .
industrial production in Genetically-Modified Insect Factories.
(Note: 2 reports regarding Oxitec’s operations in other countries (“Asia”, “Latin America”, Spain, Mexico, Brazil) are included at
Small, simple but important input by persons knowledgeable about pollinators (below – Moths are important pollinators) will not be registered or discussed when the regulatory process is circumvented.
Self-interest of the industry and its collaborators, BLOCKS the knowledge and questions from the larger community.
Decisions that affect all of us, are made on the basis of self-interested ignorance. That is scary. And worthy of revolution.
NOTE: Good people in science need to be supported:
GM “AUTOCIDAL” INSECTS / TERMINATOR TECHNOLOGY PLANTS
People in the GM battle may remember “Terminator Technology” and the huge battle to prevent it in plants (our food grains genetically-designed to be sterile, they cannot re-produce, the “germ” of the seed is affected – – the part that is most health-giving).
“Autocidal” moths are engineered so that offspring die in the larval stage. (GM) male mosquitoes are “specifically designed to pass down a suicide gene that kills their own offspring”. To me, that is pretty well the same concept as “Terminator Technology”.
But how many of these “scientists” have a grasp on the role of moths in pollination?
“There’s a widely stated phrase in agriculture that you can thank a pollinator for one out of three bites of food you eat ” . . . with research to back it up: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061025165904.htm
BACK TO GM Moths Field Release / OUTRAGE:
First, the information that gets blocked:
3. Moths are important pollinators.
While some moths, particularly caterpillars such as the corn earworm, are major agricultural pests, many others are important pollinators. “Their hairy bodies make moths great pollinators — they pick up pollen from any flower they land on,” Moskowitz said.
Moth-pollinated flowers tend to be fragrant and white, such as the yucca plant. Plants with these features allow nocturnal moths to easily find flowers after dark.
Some moths pollinate by day. Hummingbird moths hover in front of flowers and unfurl their long tongues to sip nectar; they feed on a variety of flowers, including bee balm, honeysuckle and verbena.
4. Many adult moths don’t eat.
While some moths suck nectar, others don’t eat at all. The adult Luna moth, for instance, doesn’t even have a mouth. After it emerges from its cocoon, it lives for about a week. Its sole mission in life? To mate and lay eggs. Which is all I wanted to do.
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With many thanks to Sustainable Pulse :
GM Moths Field Release near New York Causes Outrage
Environmental, advocacy and organic farming organizations have sent a letter Thursday to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball along with Cornell University President David Skorton and Agricultural School Associate Dean Susan Brown, urging them to release information to the public about the field release of genetically engineered (GE) diamondback moths at Cornell’s agricultural experiment station in Geneva, New York and to stop any outdoor trials until more adequate information is available.
In September 2014 several of the organizations commented on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s environmental assessment (EA) for the proposed field release of Oxitec’s GE diamondback moths at Cornell University. The agency did not contact the organizations to address their myriad concerns, and months later, the groups found out through a separate correspondence with the USDA that the GE moth permit had been quietly approved with no press release or other public notification.
“This release of genetically engineered autocidal moths is the first of its kind in the United States and it sets a very poor precedent that they were released with minimal environmental review and transparency,” said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. “The USDA’s irresponsible management of this genetically engineered insect is putting the environment and agriculture at risk.”
“Proposals to release GE moths in England were halted in 2012 amid concerns about the risk assessment. Many issues that would be closely studied before the moths were released in Europe have not yet been considered in the USA,” said Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch UK. “Consumers and farmers deserve much better information about GE insects that could end up in the food chain.”
“The USDA took comments on whether this first genetically engineered insect should be released for field trials and then without responding to our comments approved the trials without public notice,” said Jaydee Hanson, Senior Policy Analyst at Center for Food Safety. “The first use of GE insects in an agricultural setting should have required public consultations with potentially affected parties, as well as, trials in physically enclosed spaces before even considering open field trials. This violates one of the basic principles of biosafety for genetically engineered organisms—that they should be physically constrained in trials, not openly released.”
The mechanism for these GE moths to control population levels is for offspring to die in the larval stage. The larval moths will die on plants, including crops such as broccoli and cabbage. In its assessment, the USDA failed to recognize that if farms near the field trial sites happen to be certified organic or non-GE, their certification could be lost if these larval stage GE moths were present because genetic engineering, even for pest control, is prohibited. With no prior public information, accidental escapes and contamination would be a significant issue for proximate fields.
“The USDA has dropped the ball by approving this field trial without a thorough review and without notifying New York’s organic farmers. The loss of certification would be a major economic problem for these operations, threatening future earnings from their crops and wiping out a major investment of time and money to get the certification,” said Anne Ruflin, Executive Director of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York. “If GE contamination occurs, it has the potential to not only permanently damage long-standing partnerships with organic buyers but also to destroy an organic farmer’s livelihood and standing in the community.”
“The maker of these moths, Oxitec, has had a long track record of conducting GE insect field trials throughout the world without proper notification of the public and now they have brought their model to the United States,” said Lisa Archer, Friends of the Earth Food & Technology Program Director.
“The USDA and Cornell must put a stop to this activity and ensure that these insects have been thoroughly reviewed before they are released into the wild.”
Read the letter here: fwwat.ch/1FIVQid
Contact: Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch, kfried(at)fwwatch(dot)org
Abigail Seiler, Center for Food Safety, aseiler(at)centerforfoodsafety(dot)org
Anne Ruflin, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Anne(at)nofany(dot)org
Helen Wallace, GeneWatch UK
Source: Sustainable Pulse