Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta
May 14, 2007

Genetically Engineered (GE) Insects Soon In Canada?

"Transgenic arthropods as protein factories, e.g. to produce pharmaceuticals"

Like the genetic modifications of animals and plants, how could they not go after insects?

What they won't do for a buck, they simply can't be happy until the whole food chain comes tumbling down, only to sell us a generally toxic and ineffective pharmaceutical solution at inflated prices....

"The use of transgenic insects in plant pest control programs Agricultural researchers in NAPPO member countries are using the tools of biotechnology in an effort to develop less costly and more effective area wide plant pest control programs using genetically transformed insects. Sterile insect release (SIT) programs for eradication and suppression of invasive pests as well as preventive release programs are under consideration for adoption of this technology."

Besides making a fast buck, what these morons don't understand is that in the diverse natural order of things there always is a delicate balance. One advantage often offsets others. For example these supposedly new insects could very well be more efficient carries carriers of disease or deadly to other beneficial plants, insects etc....

Furthermore, as often is the case, should the problems not manifest in a timely fashion the adverse effects may not be seen 20 to 30 years down the road hence, making it nearly impossible to determine cause and effect of this technology. Easter Island all over again!

For Technicalities see: Making Transgenic and Paratransgenic Insects

Chris Gupta


See also: Why Genetically Modifying (GM) Food Products Are A No No


GE insects soon in Canada?

Maybe... An obscure North-American organisation NAPPO (North American Plant Protection Organisation) is consulting until July 11 on drafting guidelines to introduce GE insects in North-America.

Of course, we are being told that it will be a safe release into the environment. We were told the same for GE plants and after 10 years of commercialisation there are at least 142 cases of GE contaminations from GE crops. If we don't want the introduction of GE insects in Canada, contact:

Geoff Turner Agence Canadien d'Inspection des aliments
Email : ; (613) 221-3763.

All links on the (french) blog at :

NAPPO Newletter (March 2007)

The use of transgenic insects in plant pest control programs Agricultural researchers in NAPPO member countries are using the tools of biotechnology in an effort to develop less costly and more effective area wide plant pest control programs using genetically transformed insects. Sterile insect release (SIT) programs for eradication and suppression of invasive pests as well as preventive release programs are under consideration for adoption of this technology.

Insect species used in sterile release programs are being genetically modified for a wide range of purposes including developing genetic markers with fluorescent proteins to ensure 100% correct identification of the sterile release insect on monitoring traps, development of genetic sexing strains so that only male insects are produced in rearing facilities, and for the development of radiation replacement strains that require a lower dose of sterilizing radiation or no radiation to achieve sterility.

Potential advantages of these innovations include:

* the elimination of misidentifications of sterile release insects on monitoring traps and automatic trap screening;

* reductions of rearing costs by developing male-only strains; producing more competitive release insects by elimination or reduction of radiation treatment for sterility; and decreasing the risk of fertile insect escape from production facilities.

SIT programs for which genetically modified strains are in development include the Mexican fruit fly Anastrepha ludens, the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, Pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella, and codling moth, Cydia pomonella strains.

The research and development of these technologies is taking place using a cautious, stepwise approach within laboratory containment facilities or under controlled field conditions using physical containment measures such as quarantine field cages and biological confinement measures such as radiation to cause sterility.

NAPPO is developing a regional phytosanitary standard (RSPM 27) to provide guidance on the importation, transportation, and contained use of transgenic arthropods (NAPPO Newsletter, June 2006), which includes potential uses of transgenic insects in SIT programs as well as for other purposes such as basic research on arthropod biology and genetics. The standard is currently in draft form and will be available for country consultation from April 11 to July 11, 2007.

Source: Gregory Simmons, Ph.D.
NAPPO Expert Working Group on Transgenic Arthropods
Quarantine Field Cage for Pink Boll Worm (PBW)
Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein and Wild type


NAPPO Newsletter (June 2006)

NAPPO is currently working on a regional phytosanitary standard designed to provide guidance on the importation, transportation, contained use, and release into the environment of transgenic arthropods. The standard will include transgenic arthropods used for biological control and other transgenic beneficial arthropods with the potential to affect plant health. It will take into account direct and indirect risks to plant health, the environment and biological diversity, including those risks affecting uncultivated/unmanaged plants, wild flora, habitats, and ecosystems.

Paratransgenic insects and nematodes will be specifically excluded from the scope of this standard.

The technology for construction of transgenic arthropods is well established and transgenic strains are currently available in laboratories for future use in some plant pest control programs conducted in NAPPO countries.

Transgenic arthropods released in one country may cross shared borders, thereby impacting other NAPPO countries. This necessitates the development of NAPPO guidelines on their release into the environment. A wide range of uses have been proposed for transgenic arthropods. Applications may differ considerably in species, scale, altered trait(s), interaction with the environment and other aspects that may affect the pest risk. Some examples of actual or proposed applications include:

o Basic laboratory or ecological research

o Transgenic arthropods as protein factories, e.g. to produce pharmaceuticals

o Improving the traits of the mass-reared strain in Sterile Insect Technique pest control programs

o Alteration of the sensitivity of a wild pest population to a condition such as day length

The availability of efficient gene transfer technology for arthropods allows for rapid advances in genetic modification of important agricultural pests and the enhancement of beneficial arthropods. With these advances comes the responsibility of making decisions concerning the potential impact of transgenic arthropods on plant health. Regulatory decisions on the importation, transport, contained use, and release into the environment should be based on sound science on a case-by-case basis. Risk management and mitigation measures should be based on the level of risk.

Some of the risk issues to be addressed may include:

* Attributes of the unmodified organism
* Ecological relationships and roles
* Attributes of the genetic alteration
* Phenotype of the modified organism compared to the unmodified organism
* Attributes of the accessible environment

NAPPO Member Countries Requirements related to confined release should allow for a determination that the transgenic arthropod is adequately characterized, that no transgenic arthropod material will persist in the environment, and that any unintentional or unanticipated effects, if any, can be restricted to the confined field site and can be managed in such a way that there are no potential significant plant health risks after the confined field release is terminated.

Module 3: Unconfined Release into the Environment

The review of transgenic arthropods prior to their movement into operational or agricultural programs includes an assessment of the potential plant pest risks associated with the transgenic arthropods unconfined release into the environment. In most cases, the transgenic arthropod will be a well characterized species that has been modified by the addition of one or several genes that result in the presence of one or more new traits, such as a selectable marker or auto- sterilization.

Risk assessments should consider the plant health risk potential associated with the release of the corresponding unmodified arthropod as compared with the consequences of unconfined release of the transgenic arthropod. For transgenic arthropods where the recipient organism is already considered a plant pest, the assessment should include consideration of whether the new trait(s) increases or decreases the plant pest risk of that organism as compared to the unmodified counterpart.

Members of the Working Group include:
Susan McCombs, APHIS, Steward; Terri
Dunahay, APHIS; Greg Simmons, ARS;
Canada: Geoff Turner, (613) 221-3763
Hemendra Mulye,
Health; Anoop Poovadan, Environment
Mexico: Cristina Zepeda, Jorge Aguilar, SAGARPA
International: Alan Robinson, Internacional Atomic
Energy Agency; Luke Alphey, Oxitec Ltd.
Source: Ian McDonell, (Working Group initial meeting)

Eric Darier
Responsable de la campagne OGM
454, ave. Laurier Est, 3e Útage
Montreal H2J 1E7
TÚl. (514) 933-0021 x 15
Cell. (514) 605-6497
Fax. (514) 933-1017
Skype: ericdarier
Internet :

Please visit the Beyond Factory Farming Coalition's website at

The Beyond Factory Farming Coalition is a national organization promoting socially responsible livestock production in Canada. Our vision is "Livestock production for health and social justice". BFF staff can be reached via


posted by Chris Gupta on Monday May 14 2007

URL of this article:



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