diamondback moths

The race is on as to where the first genetically modified (GM) organisms will be released into the environment in the United States.

Florida came close last year with a plan to release GM mosquitoes from the company Oxitec to combat viral infections such as dengue, Zika, and chikungunya. However, the plan was foiled when a "no" vote from one area's constituents, Key Haven, put the plan on hold for a few more years. 

The release of GM organisms is not limited to mosquitoes or warm climates, however. In fact, New York is well on its way to release GM diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella) in an effort to keep its crops safe from destruction. If it happens, this will be the first release of GM organisms in the United States.  

The permit application for a...

01MOTHS-master675The diamondback moth, merely a rare nuisance decades ago, has become over the past sixty years one of the most feared, devastating pest scourges for America's farmers. They (actually, their very hungry caterpillar progeny) feast off cabbage, broccoli, kale and the like, costing farmers around the world over $5 billion per annum. And, worse still, they readily adapt to a plethora of chemical pesticides, requiring alternating applications of multiple

[Photo Credit: Dan Olmstead...