GENTECH archive 8.96-97


Now They Consider GE Insects!!

This copy state that the USDA is now reviewing a request
that would allow genetically
engineered insects to be released without the public having
any say whatsoever in the process.

Extremely disturbing level of consciousness in the
U.S. government. (I am an American)

Release of GE Mites Considered

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is reviewing a
request from a University of Florida scientist to conduct a
field test with a transgenic mite that feeds on spider mites,
a pest of strawberries and ornamental crops. The USDA is not
planning to have an official public comment period or hearing
on this application, and only intends to publish notice in
the Federal Register when the decision is made. The mite has
been engineered to contain a bacterial gene that functions as
a marker, making it easy for researchers to track the
organism in the environment. Future experiments will
introduce new genes intended to modify the mite to enhance
its ability to kill pests.

The Union of Concerned Scientists  said it is likely
that this application will be followed by a number of other
requests to release transgenic arthropods. Genetically
engineered medflies, mosquitoes, honey bees, cotton bollworms
and many other insects have been created in laboratories for
a variety of purposes. Commercialization of these organisms
would result in their widespread release and use in the
environment. Genetically engineering arthropods potentially
present significant environmental risks because many
reproduce rapidly, they play a variety of important
ecological roles, they can move considerable distances, and
most would be difficult to control once released.

USDA Reviewing Application to Release
Genetically Engineered Mite
P A N U P S, January 18, 1996