USDA considers release of GM moths to control broccoli pest, GM virus to stop citrus greening

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Top: Diamondback moths; Bottom: Citrus greening

Diamondback moths are a global pest of cruciferous crops such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts and cabbage. On April 18, USDA released a draft environmental assessment of a proposed experiment by a Cornell entomologist with GM diamondback moths. The scientist, Anthony Shelton, plans to release tens of thousands of GM moths into a 10-acre vegetable field to test their potential as an “insecticide-free” control option for diamondback moths. The GM moths have been engineered to repress female survival, known as a “female autocidal trait.” Here is the USDA’s environmental assessment of this experiment, which concludes that it would have no harmful effects.

Florida nursery Southern Gardens Citrus Nursery is proposing the release of a GM virus, Citrus tristeza virus, which has been engineered to express bacteria-fighting proteins found in spinach. The GM virus, which has been undergoing controlled field tests since 2010, would be grafted — not sprayed — onto citrus trees in Florida. USDA has announced its intent to launch an environmental impact statement on Southern Garden’s proposal. You can see it here.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: USDA to Consider Release of GM Moths, GM Virus

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