Jun 142015

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:

  Genetically modified mosquitoes set off uproar in Florida Keys

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

Biotechnology, Oxitec Ltd., from Bloomberg Business report. Genetically-engineered Insects)



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:

(2014-01-11)  Hooray! Research, Canada, on neonics (chemicals killing bees and other pollinators).


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:

Thanks to  http://www.naturalblaze.com/2015/06/gm-moths-field-release-near-new-york.html :  

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.

– – – – – – – –  – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  – – – – – – – – – – –

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

  4 Responses to “2015-06-11 GM Moths Field Release near New York Causes Outrage”

  1. Sent: June 16, 2015 9:01 AM
    To: Sandra Finley
    Subject: RE: GM Moths Field Release near New York Causes Outrage (second GM insect released in the U.S.)

    (Rae writes:)

    Amazing–released without consultation or transparency. What is happening to democracy?

  2. From: Sandra Finley
    Sent: June 16, 2015
    To: Rae

    Regarding your question What is happening to democracy?

    Isn’t it like taking banks into the international arena? Or, moving factories off-shore?

    Globalization combined with technology mean that the regulatory function (essential to democracy) becomes just about impossible. Regulation and enforcement is done at the national level. We have not developed the tools for doing it at the global level.

    Taking the example of Genetically-Modified Insects:

    • Teach people how to do genetic-engineering, on-going since the 1980’s (technology)
    • Then, late-stage capitalism leads to huge accumulations and concentrations of money and power that know no borders (corporate globalization)
    • So now we have corporate labs that can be placed in any country (Oxitec is unknown in Canada and the U.S. – it is not unknown in Brazil and Mexico, for example)
    • Top if off with well-established corporatocracy (the corporations have infiltrated and appropriated Governments, Universities, Institutions, and Media). In the Government sphere the corruption is of BOTH the politicians (Legislators) AND the bureaucracy.
    • I think we are fighting to hold onto remnants of democracy. If we can secure those remnants, we can expand from there.
    • It has effectively been the American military (and corporate interests) calling the shots south of the border. (Edward Snowden removed the rose-coloured glasses. Americans nor their legislators knew what was going on through the NSA & FBI. If they didn’t know what was being done, there is no way that they are the ones in control.)
    • I think further, from what I have seen as a result of fighting Lockheed Martin’s involvement at StatsCan: the Canadian and American military are by now well integrated. I am not confident that Canadians are in control of their military and surveillance.

    I am reminded of a paragraph in the book, “My Father’s Country” by Wibke Bruhns (Canadian edition published in 2009). This refers to World War One. Page 46:

    That’s what it says in his war diary, and in it I also read that “our Kaiser inspired by a sacred love of peace, has striven to protect Europe from the horror of this war.” That’s more or less the case, but Wilhelm II was no longer really master in his own house. Neither was Reich Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg. The final say rested with the generals, and they had been preparing for this war for years. …”

  3. Sent: June 16, 2015 4:38 PM
    To: Sandra Finley
    Subject: RE: GM Moths Field Release near New York Causes Outrage (second GM insect released in the U.S.)

    A disturbing but perceptive analysis, Sandra. Thank-you.
    We need to have our eyes wide open.


  4. The Bloomberg business report on Oxitec is at http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=14888 . Oxitec has been working in Asia, Latin America & Europe. Brazil, Spain, and Mexico are specifically named.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>