Just when you thought genetically modified mosquitoes and mutated dinner entrees were the extent of biotech’s hunger to manipulate the genetic coding of the planet, scientists have now unleashed a plan to launch thousands of ‘frankenfly’ style insects into the wild in order to combat pests.
And just like we saw with the release of genetically modified mosquitoes, the altered insects are actually being pushed as a ‘green alternative’ to the use of chemicals. You see, British scientists claim that mutating the genetic code of the insects is actually a way of substituting for the use of chemical pesticides. Chemical pesticides used to lower the population of olive flies in Britain. The reality here, however, is that you are taking something damaging like chemical pesticides and replacing it with something far worse.
It’s like trading in your aging car for a bicycle, except in this case the bicycle also happens to include side effects like ‘may alter the genetic structure of the entire insect population’.
According to the Daily Mail, which dubs these insects as ‘frankenflies’ (and rightfully so), the frankenflies are meant to radically reduce the current generation of olive flies:
“The trial would involve releasing genetically modified male olive flies which would mate with the wild females with the result that all the female offspring would die at the larvae or maggot stage.”