Researchers have been experimenting with genetically modifying a variety of insects, including mosquitoes, fruit flies, moths and bollworms.
The Oxfordshire-based company Oxitec is the main company working in this area. Oxitec has close links to agri-business Syngenta: most of its senior staff and Board Members are ex-Syngenta staff and it has received a research grant from the company.
There are no specific regulations for GM insects in any country: this briefing describes how Oxitec has attempted to influence risk assessments and regulations for GM insects worldwide.
In the EU, the relevant legislation is the same as that for GM crops and food. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued guidance for the risk assessment of GM insects (including bees) prior to commercial releases, and held a consultation, but the issue of GM insects in the food chain has still not been addressed. Decisions on experimental releases are made in individual member states.
Under the Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety, when exporting GM insect eggs for open release to other countries, Oxitec is supposed to supply a risk assessment that meets EU standards and to copy this to the EU and UK authorities so it can be made publicly available. Oxitec has not followed this process correctly for any of its exports to date.
Oxitec sought to release GM diamond back moths (cabbage moths) in the UK in 2012 without any risk assessment but has been stopped following objections from GeneWatch UK and others. The company sought to bypass regulations by arguing (unsuccessfully) that its insects are "biologically contained" because they are programmed to die and that therefore the requirements for open releases of genetically modified organisms do not apply. There are new plans to revise the Contained Use Regulations for GMOs to allow approval of this kind of application in the future, without a full environmental risk assessment or any public consultation.
GM agricultural pests
Oxitec has developed genetically modified (GM) agricultural pests, including diamond back moths (cabbage moths), olive flies and fruit flies, for open release in large numbers into the environment. The intention is to release GM males (outnumbering wild males by 10 to 1 or more) to mate with wild females. The GM insects are genetically engineered so most of the female offspring die at the caterpillar stage, with the aim of suppressing the wild population. One of Oxitec's aims is to combine GM crops with GM insects, to slow the spread of resistance to the toxins in the GM crops.
In 2013, GM insects company Oxitec made an application to release GM olive flies in Spain and also applied to Brazilian regulators to release GM Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Medfly) there. Oxitec's plan to release GM olive flies in Spain was shelved following requests for further information from the regulators.
A GM pink bollworm moth (a cotton pest) also produced by Oxitec and containing a fluorescent marker gene (but sterilised using radiation) was released in 2006 to 2008 in the US as part of a plant pest control programme. GM bollworms are being developed in response to the development of resistance to the Bt toxin which is engineered into pest-resistant GM crops (Bt crops) such as maize and cotton.
Controversial experimental releases of 3 million GM mosquitoes produced by Oxitec took place in the Cayman Islands (a British Overseas Territory which has no biosafety law) in 2009 and 2010. A smaller number of Oxitec's GM mosquitoes were released in December 2010 in Malaysia. In 2011 experiments began in Brazil, which are still ongoing. According to Oxitec, future experimental releases are planned in other countries. However, Vietnam has stated that it does not intend to release GM mosquitoes and plans in the US have been delayed pending a regulatory assessment.
This briefing summarises GeneWatch UK's concerns about releases of Oxitec's GM mosquitoes to date.
Oxitec and a number of academic research groups are also working on genetically modifying mosquitoes which are resistant to malaria. This approach would require GM mosquitoes to completely replace the wild mosquito population, which is very difficult to achieve.
Other insects might be genetically modified in future, including beneficial insects such as bees.
The honey bee genome was completed in 2006 and in May 2011 Nature News reported that this might allow geneticists to "build a better bee". Plans to sequence thousands of insect and other arthropod genomes were announced in June 2011.
In November 2011, scientists reporting the completion of the spider mite genome argued that it could be used to reduce the mite's ability to reproduce. Completion of the Monarch butterfly genome was also announced.
- Consultation Responses
- GeneWatch UK: Response to WHO/FNIH consultation on GM mosquitoes 7th January 2013
- Parliamentary Questions
- Re: Cartegena Protocol not extended to the Cayman Islands (30th November 2010)
- Re: tetracycline dose-response (25th January 2012)
- Re: Redacted tetracycline document (25th January 2012)
- Re: UKTI support for Oxitec (30th November 2011)
- Re: Oxitec meetings with BIS ministers (30th November 2011)
- Re: UKTI financial support for Oxitec (29th November 2011)
- Re: Oxitec exports to Malaysia (14th November 2011)
- Re: Oxitec exports to Brazil (2nd November 2011)
- Re: Dates of Oxitec exports and notifications (2nd November 2011)
Re: Notifications for open release (28th February 2011)
Michael Meacher, MP, is incorrectly informed that GM mosquito eggs shipped by Oxitec to Brazil were for contained use only.
Re: Transboundary notifications (27th January 2011)
States that he date of the export of GM mosquito eggs to the Cayman Islands for release to the environment was 4 November 2009 and that all other exports have been for contained use.
- Re: Oxitec Cayman Islands Risk Assessment (13th January 2011)
- Re: Discussions between DEFRA and Grand Cayman (10th January 2011)
- Re: Cayman Islands loan (1st December 2010)
- Re: FCO and Cayman Islands (29th November 2010)
- GeneWatch press releases
- GeneWatch UK PR: Halt to plans to release GM olive flies in Spain welcomed 9th December 2013
- Joint Press Release: Non-native strains of genetically modified (GM) insects risk spread of pesticide resistance 4th October 2013
- GeneWatch UK PR: Planned releases of genetically modified (GM) fruit flies should be halted until food contamination issues are addressed 4th September 2013
- GeneWatch UK PR: Response to EFSA Guidance on risk assessment of GM animals 23rd May 2013
- GeneWatch UK PR: GM insects in food, environment: European Ombudsman investigates conflicts-of-interest at EU regulator 26th March 2013
- Joint PR: Regulatory decisions on releasing genetically modified (GM) insects biased by corporate interests 8th November 2012
- GeneWatch UK PR: GM mosquito trial results in Cayman pour cold water on claimed benefits (10th September 2012) 10th September 2012
- GeneWatch UK PR: Billions of genetically modified bugs will spread in fruit and veg under new EU proposals (23rd August 2012) 23rd August 2012
- GeneWatch UK Press Release: GM mosquito risks still not properly assessed (10th August 2012) 10th August 2012
- GeneWatch, Friends of the Earth, Third World Network PR: Company conceals evidence that genetically modified mosquitoes may have high survival rate in wild (12th January 2012) 12th January 2012
- GeneWatch PR: British Overseas Territory used as private lab for GM mosquito company 14th December 2010
- GeneWatch briefings
- GeneWatch UK briefing: Genetically Modified (GM) olive flies: A credible pest management approach? (September 2012) 18th September 2013
GeneWatch UK and Friends of the Earth Spain: Con la mosca trangenica detras de la oreja [In Spanish] (18th September 2013)
Briefing on Oxitec's GM olive flies in Spanish.
Third World Network: Genetically Modified Mosquitoes: Ongoing Concerns (2013)
Updated version of GeneWatch UK's 2012 briefing, published in Third World Network's biosafety series. Also available in Spanish.
- Joint Briefing: Genetically-modified insects: under whose control? (November 2012) 8th November 2012
- GeneWatch UK Briefing: Border issues with GM mosquito releases (October 2012) 6th October 2012
- GeneWatch UK Briefing: Oxitec's GM Mosquitoes: Ongoing Concerns (August 2012) 10th August 2012
- GeneWatch presentation (Tromso): Risk assessment of GM insects 24th August 2011
- Malaysia GMAC: Response to GeneWatch UK
- GeneWatch UK comments on Malaysian GMAC Risk Assessment for experimental releases of GM mosquitoes 4th January 2011
- GeneWatch briefing: Oxitec's GM mosquitoes: in the public interest? 14th December 2010
- Press articles
- Hora Cero [Panama]: Una navidad con el dengue [In Spanish] (12th December 2013)
- ABC: La liberacion de moscas transgenicas en Espana tendra que esperar [In Spanish] (12th December 2013)
- El Mundo: Ultima prueba para que las moscas transgenicas vuelen en Tarragona [In Spanish] (11th December 2013)
- The Scottish Farmer: GM flies swatted (11th December 2013)
- Informationsdienst Gentechnik: Vorerst keine Gentechnik-Fliegen in Spanien [In German] (10th December 2013)
- Sustainable Pulse: Oxitec Cancels GM Flies Release after Government Health Questions (9th December 2013)
La Vanguardia: Rechazado el plan para liberar moscas transgenicas en Tarragona [In Spanish] (7th December 2013)
Oxitec's plan to release GM olive flies in Catalonia, Spain has been shelved following requests for further information from the regulators.
- World Fishing and Aquaculture: Call for GM salmon labelling (4th December 2013)
- AgroBioMexico: Panama planea usar mosquitos transgenicos para combatir el dengue (29th November 2013)
- Singularity Hub: Spain Considers Release Of Genetically Modified Fruit Flies, Controversy Simmers (24th November 2013)
- UPI: 'Killer' olive fruit flies designed to bring down their own population
- Deutsche Welle: Pesquisadores questionam mosquitos transgenicos no combate a dengue [In Portuguese] (26th November 2013)
- AllVoices: Genetically modified olive fruit flies to be released in Spain (22nd November 2013)
- BBC: Decision awaited on genetically modified insect trial (20th November 2013)
- Aragondigital.es: Amigos de la Tierra alerta de la afeccion de las moscas transgenicas en los olivares (12th November 2013)
- AlJazeera America: Genetically modified mosquitoes set off uproar in Florida Keys (9th November 2013)
- New Straits Times: 'Rise in dengue cases is global' (7th November 2013)
- The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka): Sterile males to tackle war against dengue (3rd November 2013)
- BR: Ein gewagtes Experiment in Brasilien [In German] (31st October 2013)
- St. Thomas Source (Virgin Islands): Researchers Working to Eliminate Dengue Fever (30th October 2013)
- University of the Virgin Islands: UVI to Host Lectures on Cutting Edge Dengue Fever Research (25th October 2013)
- Basler Zeitung: Gentech-Fliegen im Freilandversuch [In German] (23rd October 2013)
- Panama Digest: Permit for Terminator Mosquitoes Still Pending (20th October 2013)
- The Sacremento Bee: Debate surrounds use of gene-altered mosquitoes to curb dengue fever (14th October 2013)
Agrosoft: O mosquito transgenico (12th October 2013)
Video (in Portuguese)
- Adital: #Transgenia: El plan de comunicacion (11th October 2013)
- Adital: #Transgenia: Mosquitos transgenicos en el cielo del semiarido [In Spanish] (11th October 2013)
- Adital: #Transgenia: La evaluacion de riesgos (11th October 2013)
- Adital: #Transgenia: Mosquito transgenico a la venta (11th October 2013)
- GreenMe: Mosca transgenica in Spagna: Firab lancia l'allarme [In Italian] (9th October 2013)
Terra.com: Para reduzir dengue, biofabrica solta mosquitos transgenicos [In Portuguese] (9th October 2013)
Reports more details of Oxitec's experiments in Brazil.
- MSN: Spanish olives might soon be protected by mutant flies (1st October 2013)
- The Guardian: Tilapia fish in frontline of Pakistan's fight against Dengue virus (1st October 2013)
- New York Times: In Florida, the Front Lines of a High-Pitched, Bite-Size War (29th September 2013)
- AllAfrica.com: Africa: Ten Years in - Taking Stock of the Biosafety Protocol (28th September 2013)
- Inquirer News: Brazil to test new vaccine against dengue fever (27th September 2013)
- Momento Verdadeiro: Mosquito transgenico da dengue passa para 2a etapa de testes [In Portuguese] (27th September 2013)
- New York Times: New Delhi's Dengue Fever Problem (25th September 2013)
- KeysNet.com: Mosquito Control finalizes balanced 2014 budget (21st September 2013)
- 20minutos.es: Alertan sobre el riesgo de liberar moscas transgenicas para evitar plagas en olivos [In Spanish] (18th September 2013)
- Olive Oil Times: Oxitec CEO on Why Trial of its Genetically Modified Olive Fly Should Go Ahead (18th September 2013)
- Europa Press: Alertan sobre el riesgo de liberar moscas transgenicas para evitar plagas en olivos [In Spanish] (18th September 2013)
La Nacion: Presentan nueva tecnologia genetica para hacer frente al dengue (16th September 2013)
Reports an agreement between Paraguay and the British Embassy to release Oxitec's GM mosquitoes there.
- Care2.com: Are 'Frankenflies' a Safe Alternative to Chemical Pesticides? (13th September 2013)
- Medical Daily: Genetically Modified Insects Proposed As An Alternative To Chemical Pesticides, But Raise Health Concerns (7th September 2013)
- RT: Una empresa britanica solicita liberar insectos transgenicos en campos de Espanya [In Spanish] (7th September 2013)
- Independent Online: GM Frankenfly to battle pests (4th September 2013)
- Daily Mail: Frankenflies to battle pests: Scientists plan to launch thousands of GM insects into fields as alternative to using chemicals (4th September 2013)
- El Librapensador: Moscas transgenicas podrian ser liberadas en Cataluna [in Spanish] (4th September 2013)
- Ambientum: Primer caso de liberacion de animales transgenicos en territorio europeo [In Spanish] (4th September 2013)
- PRWeb: Bellucci Premium, Producer of Italian Olive Oil, Comments on the Potential Release of Genetically Altered Olive Flies in Spain (2nd September 2013)
- El Periodico: Moscas transgenicas? [in Spanish] (31st August 2013)
- Olive Fly Times: Spain Considers Trial Release of Genetically-Modified Olive Flies (27th August 2013)
- Te Interesa: Un ejercito de moscas transgenicas podrian acabar con la mosca del olivo en Tarragona [in Spanish] (11th August 2013)
- La Gran Epoca: Moscas de olivo transgenicas en Espanya pueden ser consumidas por las aves [in Spanish] (11th August 2013)
- Te Interesa: Polemica desatada entre agricultores y ecologistas por el proyecto de las moscas transgenicas [in Spanish] (11th August 2013)
- Te Interesa: La mosca del olivo acaba con el 10% de la produccion en Tarragona [In Spanish] (11th August 2013)
- Dialogo Libre: Catalunya tendra sus propias moscas transgenicas [in Spanish] (9th August 2013)
- La Vanguardia: Una empresa inglesa pide liberar moscas transgenicas en Catalunya [in Spanish] (8th August 2013)
- TestBiotech PR: Plans to release genetically engineered flies in Spain and Italy (1st August 2013)
Express MT: Laboratorio libera 500 mil mosquitos transgenicos para combater dengue (21st June 2013) [In Portuguese]
Half a million of Oxitec's GM mosquitoes will be released per week in Jacobina, Bahia.
- Wired: Mutant Silkworms Spin Fluorescent Silk in 3 Colors (20th June 2013)
- Huffington Post: Catch of the Day: Transgenic Salmon? Not So Fast (6th May 2013)
- KTVA: Senate Passes Resolution Opposing Frankenfish (25th March 2013)
- ZeeNews: Altering mosquito genome could now help control dengue fever (22nd March 2013)
- sertv: Gorgas empieza experimento con mosquitos transgenicos (19th March 2013) [in Spanish]
- New York Times: When Mutant Mosquitoes Attack (19th February 2013)
La Prensa: Zancudo ingles contra el dengue (8th February 2013)
Import of 500 GM mosquito eggs from Oxitec to Panama was approved on 15th January 2013.
- KeysNet.com: FDA panel to look at genetically changed mosquitoes (26th January 2013)
- The Scientist: Will GM Insects Help Stop Disease? (21st January 2013)
- Cay Compass: Dengue mosquito measures revealed (18th January 2013)
- KeysNet.com: At Mosquito Control, genetics, finances, politics (30th December 2012)
- Deccan Chronicle: Vector control: We are not ready for GM mosquitoes (28th December 2012)
- AP: Gene-altered mosquitoes could be used vs. dengue (6th December 2012)
YouTube: Scratching the Surface (5th December 2012)
Documentary about planned releases of Oxitec's GM mosquitoes in Key West.
- Digital Journal: France's Sanofi Pasteur to release Dengue fever vaccine (2nd December 2012)
- DNA: No fishy tail: Declining frog, fish populations cause for rise in dengue, say environmentalists (18th November 2012)
- Daily Mail: Could millions of GM insects be released into British crop fields without safety checks? (8th November 2012)
- ENews Park Forest: Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Take Flight in Brazil (6th November 2012)
- DNA: Two mosquito species responsible for dengue detected (6th November 2012)
- Los Angeles Times: Dengue: Where is thy sting?
- The Pioneer: Govt apathy helps grow vector-borne epidemics (1st November 2012)
Keys News: FDA to oversee insect project (22nd October 2012)
Report that releases of GM mosquitoes in Florida are a long way off as the FDA seeks further information from Oxitec before making any regulatory decision. In addition, a facility for breeding the insects has not yet been constructed.
Financial Times: Investors need education in tech spinouts (19th October 2012)
Reports evidence that Oxitec is lobbying for more government support, such as increased tax breaks for investors, to take account of the fact it is a high-risk technology.
- KeysNet.com: Mosquito Control candidates: It's all about the money (10th October 2012)
- Financial Times: Prevention: Science is fighting the dengue war on four fronts (10th October 2012)
- FT: Vector control: Ruining the mosquito's sex life may pay (10th October 2012)
- WebIndia123: GM mosquitoes meant to reduce dengue (6th October 2012)
- The Hindu: GeneWatch worried over release of genetically modified mosquitoes (5th October 2012)
- PR Newswire: Oxitec Joins Prime Minister David Cameron on Brazil Trade Mission as Exemplar UK Export Business (1st October 2012)
- The Water Dispatch: Interview with Joel Biddle (29th September 2012)
La Estrella: Dudas sobre el uso del mosquito transgenico (28th September 2012)
Doubts about the use of transgenic mosquito in Panama [in Spanish]
Cay Compass: Mosquito unit tackling dengue mosquitoes (27th September 2012)
Alan Wheeler, assistant director of the Cayman Mosquito Research and Control Unit, states that Oxitec's 80 percent reduction statistic only referred to a "very small sample and very limited area" and that the main control against this breed of mosquito was the "labour-intensive" inspection and eradication of mosquitos in people's yards by control unit crews.
SciDevNet: GM trials slash dengue mosquito numbers (25th September 2012)
Reports that researchers in Brazil are not confident the approach is cost-effective.
IPS: Brazil Tries Natural Method to Eradicate Dengue (25th September 2012)
Describes plans to test an alternative (non-GM) method of dengue control based on naturally-occuring bacteria.
- FAPESP Pesquisa: A transformacao dos insetos (September 2012)
Teatro Naturale: L'ingegneria genetica per combattere la mosca delle olive (15th September2012)
Experts question whether Oxitec's GM olive flies should be used.
- The Ecologist: ANALYSIS: Are we being told the full truth about GM mosquitoes? (13th September 2012)
Pharmabiz: DBT framing guidance document for transgenic insects to control insect-borne diseases (12th September 2012)
The development of guidance for the release of GM insects in India.
- New Scientist: Attack on dengue intensifies with two new weapons (12 September 2012)
- Cayman News Service: UK firm publishes results of Cayman mozzie test (11th September 2012)
- MalaysiaKini: GM mosquito trial in Bentong hailed as a success (11th September 2012)
- Olive Fly Times: Europe Debates Use of Modified Olive Fly (4th September 2012)
- CIDRAP News: WHO takes aim at dengue in strategy document (4th September 2012)
- Philippine Information Agency: Nat'l gov't agencies launch Project ABaKaDa to fight dengue (30th August 2012)
- Public Service Europe: GM bugs could spread in fruit and veg under EU proposals (24th August 2012)
- Public Service Europe: Releasing millions of GM mosquitoes - into the unknown (23rd August 2012)
- WFLA: Genetically modified mosquito debate (14th August 2012)
- Cayman News: Activists concerned over survival of GM mosquitoes (14th August 2012)
- The Miami Herald: 'Robo-mosquitoes' in Margaritaville? (13th August 2012)
- MetroNewsCanada: Genetically modified mosquitoes divide scientists (12th August 2012)
- The Himalayan: World's first dengue vaccine beats 3 virus strains (25th July 2012)
- Reuters: Are mutant mosquitoes the answer in Key West? (23rd July 2012)
- Keys News: Fear underlies mosquito proposal (21st July 2012)
- Io9: How scientists will win the war against malarial mosquitoes (19th July 2012)
- The Disease Daily: Brazil Rolls Out GM Mosquito Farms (18th July 2012)
- RT: GM mosquitoes: Risky experiment or life saver? (17th July 2012)
Agencia de Noticias Jornal Floripa: Brasil testa inseto geneticamente modificado contra a dengue [In Portuguese] (16th July 2012)
- Daily Mail: 'Frankenstein' meat could get go-ahead in EU: Safety fears over the use of GM animals (14th July 2012)
- The Canadian: Corporate America creates GM Mosquitos (17th July 2012)
- Nature News: Florida abuzz over mosquito plan (17th July 2012)
- LA Times: Mutant mosquitoes: Frankenbugs have Floridians fretting (17th July 2012)
- Global Post: Genetically modified mosquitoes may be released in Florida (16th July 2012)
- International Business Times: Mutant Mosquitoes Florida: Residents Oppose Being 'Lab Rats' in Key West Testing Ground (16th July 2012)
- College News: The mutant mosquito to swarm the Florida Keys (16th July 2012)
- Christian Post: Key West Resident: We Won't Be 'Lab Rats' for Florida Mutant Mosquitoes Plan (16th July 2012)
- International Science Times: Mutant Mosquito Prepped For Key West Release (16th July 2012)
- Huffington Post: Oxitec Wants To Release Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Into Florida Keys (16th July 2012)
- Bloomberg Business Week: Malaria Parasite Killed by Gene-Modified Germs in Study (16th July 2012)
- The Observer: Can GM mosquitoes rid the world of a major killer? (15th July 2012)
- Florida Today: Genetically modified mosquito test angers Key West (13th July 2012)
- PhilStar.com: Double threat: New mosquito species carrying dengue emerges (12th July 2012)
- Telegraph: Scientists to breed GM mosquitoes to stop spread of dengue fever (11th July 2012)
- BrazilMag: Brazil to Produce Close to 20 Million GM Mosquitoes a Month to Fight Dengue (11th July 2012)
- PR Newswire: Moscamed prepares for next phase in the development of Oxitec's transgenic mosquitoes in Brazil (10th July 2012)
- The Guardian: Florida Keys residents resist release of dengue fever-immune mosquitoes (10th July 2012)
- WKMG Orlando: Key West mom challenges company's planned mosquito invasion (10th July 2012)
- Thaindian News: Brazil to breed mosquitoes to fight dengue (9th July 2012)
- Bloomberg News: France's Le Foll to Keep Biotech-Crops Ban, Le Monde Says (6th July 2012)
The Western Producer: Scientists genetically modify insect
(22nd June 2012)
Diamondback moths targeted goal to reduce destruction by harmful pest
- Times of India: Mosquitoes incapable of transmitting malaria created (13th June 2012)
- Malaysia Sun: 'Diet pill' for aedes larvae is no 'silver bullet' (8th June 2012)
- WBUR: A Scientist's 20-Year Quest To Defeat Dengue Fever (7th June 2012)
- Pacific Standard: Weaponizing Mosquitoes to Fight Tropical Diseases (7th June 2012)
- LezGetReal: The End of Dengue Fever? (6th June 2012)
- Reuters: Insight - Dengue vaccine in sight, after 70 years (6th June 2012)
- AFP: Malaysian prince's 'pill' targets dengue scourge (6th June 2012)
- MiamiNewTimes: FDA Reviewing Genetically Modified Mosquitoes for Potential Release in Key West (30th May 2012)
- Broward Palm Beach New Times: Genetically Modified Bugs Glow Red and Self-Destruct, but Can They Keep Away Disease? (31st May 2012)
- MotherJones: Can GMO Mosquitoes Save You From Dengue? (May 2012)
- BBC Mundo: Mosquitos transgenicos contra el dengue en Panama [In Spanish] (28th May 2012)
- Costa Rica Star: Health Minister Daisy Corrales Warns About Dengue Fever in Costa Rica (25th May 2012)
AFP: Experto de la OPS dice que la vacuna contra el dengue esta mas cerca "que nunca" (16th May 2012) [In Spanish]
Reports that a vaccine against dengue could be ready in 5 years.
- The Panama News: The case for infesting Arraijan with gene-spliced mosquitoes (18th May 2011)
- AFP: Panama investe em mosquito modificado para conter dengue [In Spanish] (17th May 2012)
- KeysNet.com: Expect Mosquito Control out in full force spraying (5th May 2012)
Ogirassol: Tocantins e segundo estado a integrar projeto de pesquisa com Aedes Transgenico [In Portuguese] (4th May 2012)
Reports that Tocantins will be the second state to conduct experiments using Oxitec's GM mosquitoes in Brazil.
- Bloomberg: Mosquitoes Shoot Blanks in Scientist's Air War on Dengue (3rd May 2012)
- Wired: Oxford academics tentatively embrace startup culture (25th April 2012)
- RP Online: Gen-Muecke soll Menschen retten [in German] (24th April 2012)
- Financial Times: Oxitec displays scientific knowhow (22nd April 2012)
- The Star: Researchers create mosquitoes that can't spread dengue (20th April 2012)
- North Central PA.com: Groups Call on Governor to Protect Floridians and Block Release of Unregulated, Risky GE Mosquitoes (19th April 2012)
- Scientific American: Mosquito Control in the Florida Keys (11th April 2012)
- SciDevNet: Brazil tests GM mosquitoes to fight dengue (10th April 2012)
- Local.com: Keys hopes to release genetically modified mosquitoes Residents voice concerns at recent town hall meeting (6th April 2012)
Keys News: Mosquitoes, Glynn Archer topical Residents against altered bugs; commission finally accepts school building (4th April 2012)
[Requires subscription] Reports that by a 5-2 vote, Key West City Commission passed Resolution 8: Opposing the introductions of genetically-altered mosquitoes until further research is provided and approval is obtained from the applicable regulatory body, and operational standards and a plan to demonstrate measurable outcomes are described to the public.
- Science20.com: First Phase Of Oxitec's Brazil Trial Successfully Completed (3rd April 2012)
- Channel 4 News: Florida frontline for new GM mosquito tests? (31st March 2012)
- Keys News: City commissioners asked to oppose mosquito release (30th March 2012)
- Green et Vert: Les moustiques genetiquement modifies ne font pas l'unanimite [In French] (28th March 2012)
- The Panama News: British company wants to release "suicide mosquitoes" in Arraijan (27th March 2011)
Financial Times: Tax relief extended to larger ventures (23rd March 2012)
Reports that Venture Capital firm Oxford Capital's Gateway EIS Portfolio will continue funding Oxitec, thanks to an expansion of the enterprise investment scheme (EIS) formalised in the Budget, which allows greater tax relief on biotech investments.
- La Nacion (Panama): Mosquitos transgenicos contra dengue generan polemica aqui [In Spanish] (23rd March 2012)
- Telemundo (Costa Rica): Conoces el mosquito anti dengue? [In Spanish] (23rd March 2012)
- CRhoy.com: Analizan traer mosquitos transgenicos a Costa Rica (22nd March 2012)
- Reloj (Costa Rica): Expertos advierten riesgo de mosquitos transgenicos para combatir el dengue [In Spanish] (22nd March 2012)
- Informador.com.mx: Mosquitos transgenicos contra el dengue (22nd March 2012)
- ABC (Panama): Preocupan los mosquitos transgenicos contra el dengue [In Spanish] (22nd March 2012)
- Reuters: French company poised to announce world's first dengue vaccine (20th March 2012)
- Keys News: Genetically altered mosquito release on hold (16th March 2012)
- ENews Park Forest: GE Bug Makes Floridians Part of Oxitec's Grand Experiment (14th March 2012)
- KeysNet.com: Be careful with plan to genetically change mosquitoes (10th March 2010)
KeysNet.com: Meeting looks at genetically altered mosquitoes (7th March 2012)
Reports that Key West's inability to find a state or federal agency to serve as government regulator strongly suggests the first test of Oxitec's GM mosquitoes in the US could be pushed back to summer 2013.
- Cairns News: Cairns project to take on dengue in Brazil (29th February 2012)
- Keys News: Mosquito test may occur without permit (24th February 2012)
- ReutersAlert: GM mosquito risk assessments 'deficient', says review (20th February 2012)
- SciDevNet: GM mosquito risk assessments 'deficient', says review (14th February 2012)
- MarketWatch: Oxitec Secures GBP8 Million Investment to Continue Fight Against Dengue Fever (13th February 2012)
Dat Viet: Vietnam has not agreed to release genetically modified mosquitoes (13th February 2012)
[In Vietnamese]. Reports that the Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology has said Vietnam has no intention of releasing Oxitec's GM mosquitoes.
- KeysNews.com: Fooling Mother Nature with Genetically Modified Mosquitoes (12th February 2012)
El Pais: Mosquito mutante para salvar vidas (11th February 2012)
- The Nation: Suicide mosquitoes to counter dengue virus (4th February 2012)
- Cayman iNews: THE EDITOR SPEAKS: Frankenstein mosquitoes and transparency (4th February 2012)
- Cayman News Service: GM mosquito release not transparent, say scientists (2nd February 2012)
- The Conversation: Time to regulate the release of GM mosquitoes - and here's how (1st February 2012)
- Der Spiegel: The Controversial Release of Frankenstein Mosquitoes (1st February 2012)
- Nature Blog: What should the public know about GM insect trials? (31st January 2012)
- The Sun (Malaysia): GM mosquito: Only when safe (31st January 2012)
- Indian Country Today: GM Mosquitos Fight Disease, Crop Pests - But Safety Fears Surface (26th January 2012)
- The Sun Daily: Will the GM mosquito be the feared dragon? (25th January 2012)
- Herzog-Niesel: Designer mosquitoes help reduce risk of dengue fever (23rd January 2012)
- Malaysia Star: GM mozzies in populated areas (17th January 2012)
- Free Malaysia Today: Study: GM mozzies survive even in a lab (13th January 2012)
- Cayman News Service: GM Mozzies didn't linger says Cayman control unit (13th January 2012)
- Daily Mail: Human health and the environment 'may be put at risk by genetically modified mosquitoes' (12th January 2012)
- Public Service Europe: GM mosquitoes - threat or friend? (12th January 2012)
- Cayman News Service: Cayman's GM mozzies may have reproduced (12th January 2012)
- KeysNet.com: Release of genetically altered mosquitoes delayed (4th January 2012)
- The Independent: Well, it worked for Peter Parker: genetic scientists unleash power of the spider web (3rd January 2012)
- NPR: Biotech Firms Caught In Regulatory No Man's Land (2nd January 2012)
- KeysNet.com: At Mosquito Control, some peace arrives past year (31st December 2011)
- The Ledger: Mosquito Plan Is Raising Questions (25th December 2011)
- Keys News: Group wary of new insects (25th December 2011)
- NBC Miami: Environmentalists Question Plan to Fight Dengue Fever in the Florida Keys (25th December 2011)
- Daily Mail: Frankenmoth: Health fears over plans to release millions of GM insects designed to destroy pests (15th December 2011)
- The Telegraph: Millions of GM moths could be released to combat crop pests (15th December 2011)
- UPI: Genetically modified moths called crop aid (15th December 2011)
- Business Mirror (Philippines): PHL mango producers get technology boost in battle against fruit flies (12th December 2011)
- Malaya Business Insight: Technology to combat fruit flies developed (12th December 2011)
- Gizmag: Genetic genocide: Genetically altered mosquito warriors could wipe out humanity's biggest killer (30th November 2011)
- Winnipeg Free Pest: Spider mite genome sequenced; could be key to battling the agricultural pest (23rd November 2011)
- Boston.com: Monarch butterfly genome sequenced (23rd November 2011)
- Philippine Information Agency: Genetically modified mosquitoes, other topics to be tackled during Biotechnology Week (15th November 2011)
- Slate: GM Mosquitoes Bite (14th November 2011)
- Times of India: Oxford, IIM-A join forces to take the sting out of mosquitoes (14th November 2010)
- KeysNet.com: Mosquito Control to breed mosquito-killing mosquitoes (12th November 2011)
- Miami Herald: Key West mosquito control could go sci-fi (11th November 2011)
- Minivan News (Maldives): New bug kills young to stop dengue (31st October 2011)
- New York Times: Concerns Are Raised About Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes (30th October 2011)
- Scientific American: The wipeout gene (24th October 2011)
- Scientific American: Should Scientists Use Genetically Modified Insects to Fight Disease? (24th October 2011)
- Tico Times (Costa Rica): Can dengue be eradicated? (23rd September 2011)
- Trinidad & Tobago Newsday: Khan: Dengue cases down (17th September 2011)
- Philippine Daily Inquirer: Group proposes genetically modified mosquitoes to fight dengue (13th September 2011)
- New Scientist: Swarm troopers: Mutant armies waging war in the wild (12th September 2011)
- BBC Online: Scientists to sequence thousands of insect genomes (17th June 2011)
Jornal do Brasil: Aedes transgenico? (13th June 2011)
[In Portuguese]. Reports criticism by experts of Oxitec's GM mosquito trials in Brazil.
- BBC Online: Smelly chemicals confuse mosquitoes (1st June 2011)
Estadao.com.br: ''Nao teria mosquito se tivesse agua encanada'' (23rd May 2011)
[In Portuguese] Reports that residents of Itaberaba had not realized that the neighborhood had become a kind of open-air laboratory for Oxitec.
- Nature News: Geneticists bid to build a better bee (17th May 2011)
- The Independent: Genetic breakthrough may stop malaria (25th April 2011)
- BBC Online: GM mosquitoes offer malaria hope (21st April 2011)
- Macleans: Building a better mosquito (19th April 2011)
Folha: Bahia inicia uso de inseto transgenico contra dengue (24th February 2011)
In Portuguese. Reports that 10,000 GM mosquitoes have been released in Brazil.
- Malay Mail: Dengue busting GM mosquitoes (23rd February 2011)
- FAPESP Pesquisa: Solucao genetica [In Portuguese] (February 2011)
- Discovery News: GM mosquitoes released in Malaysia to reduce dengue spread (17th February 2011)
- TropIKA: Malaysia releases transgenic mosquitoes in controversial dengue study (17th February 2011)
- Nature: Letting the bugs out of the bag (10th February 2011)
- Free Malaysia Today: NGOs: Reveal details of GM mozzie release (9th February 2011)
- The Sun Daily (Malaysia): NGOs express shock over GM mosquitoes move (8th February 2011)
- Free Malaysia Today:GM mosquitoes: Horror story in the making? (8th February 2011)
- Axis of Logic: Genetically modified mosquitoes released to combat dengue (1st February 2011)
- World and Media: Malaysia follows Caymans with surprise GM mosquito trial (31st January 2011)
- Malaysia Kini: GM aedes testing better than nothing (31st January 2011)
- Malaysia Sun: Over 200 people attended GM mozzie trial talks, says IMR official (31st January 2011)
- Malaysia Star: A quiet release (30th January 2011)
- MedIndia: 6000 GM Insects Released in a Forest Area Read more: 6000 GM Insects Released in a Forest Area (29th January 2011)
- Free Malaysia Today: Pahang PAS slams Bentong mosquito release (28th January 2011)
- The Sun Daily (Malaysia): The mosquito that may be our dragon (27th January 2011)
- Science: GM Mosquito Release in Malaysia Surprises Opponents and Scientists - Again (27th January 2011)
- Free Malaysia Today: 6,000 modified mosquitoes airborne (26th January 2011)
- Daily Mail: Mutant mosquitoes: Malaysia release of genetically modified insects sparks fears of uncontrollable new species (26th January 2011)
- Malaysia Kini: Why steamroll GM aedes trials despite protests? (18th January 2011)
- Malaysia Kini: GM aedes risk assessment not transparent, complete (14th January 2011)
- Asia Pacific News: Malaysia delays landmark GM mosquito trial after protests (4th January 2010)
- Cayman News Service: Cayman mosquito release was act of "colonialism" (14th December 2010)
- BERNAMA: FOMCA objects to field test for transgenic mosquitoes (24th November 2010)
- Cayman 27: Scientists use Cayman for mosquito lab test (19th November 2010)
- SciDev.net: GM mosquito wild release takes campaigners by surprise (11th November 2010)
- Cayman News Service: Genetically modified mosquitoes released in Cayman (11th November 2010)
- Science: GM Mosquito Trial Strains Ties in Gates-Funded Project (11th November 2010)
- Sun2Surf: What if GM mosquito trial goes wrong? (9th November 2010)
- ScienceBlog: Hebrew University-developed method for control of malaria applied in Africa (8th November)
- Healthcare Today: GM mosquitoes to fight dengue fever (8th November 2010)
- Miller-McCune: Predators Make Great Mosquito Repellent (8th November 2010)
- Free Malaysia Today: Genetically modified mosquitos: boon or bane? (4th November 2010)
- The Star (Malaysia) Too risky to 'experiment' with GM mosquitos here (3rd November 2010)
- AsiaOne: Buzz of GM mosquitos still feared (31st October 2010)
- The Star: Terminator salvation (31st October 2010)
- The Star: Genetically modified aedes set for field trials in December, in fight against dengue (30th October 2010)
- BorneoPost: Field tests for transgenic mosquitoes in December (30th October)
- Reuters Africa: Studies examine costs, prospects of ending Malaria (29th October 2010)
- Medical News Today: Two malaria mosquito strains appear to have diverged into separate species (22nd October 2010)
- Free Malaysia Today: No genetically modified mosquitos...for now (20th September 2010)
- SciDevNet: Will GM mosquitos end dengue and malaria? (5th August 2010)
- SciDevNet: Mali: Country to rear GM mosquitos (4th August 2010)
- People's Daily Online: Fighting dengue with "family planning" for mosquitoes (15th July 2009)
- Newsweek: The mosquito revised (27th June 2009)
- External links
- Friends of the Earth Spain: Action against GM olive flies [In Spanish]
- Moscamed: Projeto Aedes Transgenico
- Friends of the Earth Spain PR: Amigos de la Tierra alerta sobre los riesgos de liberar moscas transgenicas para evitar plagas en olivos [In Spanish] (18th September 2013)
- Oxitec: Application for release of GM olive fly in Spain (3rd January 2013)
- Third World Network: Buzz or Bust for Genetically Engineered Insects? (May 2013)
- GMO Free Florida
- Third World Network: Survival of GM Mosquitoes in the Presence of Tetracycline Contamination (16th February 2012)
- Consumers Association of Penang: Procedures not complied with in GM mosquitoes release (16th February 2012)
- William Leiss: Environmental Release of Genetically-Engineered Mosquitoes: The Latest Episode in Frankenstein-Type Scientific Adventures (2nd February 2012)
Reeves et al. (2012): Scientific standards and the regulation of genetically modified insects
An expanded and annotated version of the paper published in PLOS.
- Friends of the Earth US: GE Mosquito Buzz Continues: Concerns around transparency and human health impacts raised by pro-GE Insect Scientists (1st February 2012)
Public Library of Science: Genetically Modified Insect Collection (January 2012)
The collection includes a paper by scientists at the Max Planck Institute, which criticises the lack of published scientific information about Oxitec's GM insect trials, and a response by Oxitec.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON RELEASES TO THE ENVIRONMENT MINUTES OF THE 134TH MEETING OF ACRE AT NOBEL HOUSE, LONDON, THURSDAY, 1ST DECEMBER 2011
Item 10.4 reports Oxitec's proposed potential trial of genetically modified diamond back moths in the UK under the Contained Use Regulations.
DEFRA: DEP2011-1815: Malaysia Risk assessment (14th November 2011)
Copies of the documents provided by Oxitec to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under EC Regulation 1946/2003 to accompany the notification of its transboundary shipment of genetically modified mosquito eggs to Malaysia. 6 docs. Parts 3, 4 and 5 of DEP2011-1744 (Brazil notification documents) are to accompany this deposit.
DEFRA: DEP2011-1744: Brazil risk assessment (1st November 2011)
Redacted risk assessment provided by Oxitec to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under EC Regulation 1946/2003 to accompany the notification of its transboundary shipment of genetically modified mosquito eggs to Brazil in February 2011. Six documents (zipped file).
- Wellcome Trust: Video feature: Controlling dengue fever, improving lives (October 2011)
- Richard Levine: i5k: The 5,000 Insect Genome Project
- Luisa Reis de Castro: Big Issues around a tiny insect (Masters thesis)
- Aliran: GM mosquitoes: It just doesn't add up! (27th January 2011)
- Oxitec: Risk analysis: OX513A Aedes aegypti mosquito for potential release on the Cayman Islands (Grand Cayman). 21st January 2011
Third World Network: Biosafety Information Centre
Section on insects and micro-organisms contains information about GM mosquitoes from a civil society organisation perspective.
GENET: news articles
Compilation of news articles on genetically-engineered mosquitoes
- Statement of Concern from Civil Society Organizations Regarding Field Release of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes 28th December 2010
- Consumers' Association of Penang and Sahabat Alam Malaysia: Memorandum on Malaysia's GM Aedes mosquito planned release: ethical, legal and human rights concerns
- Consumers Association of Penang: An Open Letter to the Government from Malaysian NGOs on genetically engineered Aedes aegypti mosquitoes
Risk Assessment Report of the Malaysian Genetic Modification Advisory Committee (GMAC) For An Application To Conduct A Limited Mark-Release-Recapture Of Aedes Aegypti (L.) Wild Type and OX513A Strains
Submitted by the Malaysian government to the Biosafety Clearing House of the Convention on Biological Diversity
Malaysia Biosafety Clearing House
Contains documents relating to the Malaysian Government's consultation on the proposed experimental releases of Oxitec's GM mosquitos and further information about the approved field experiments and the conditions the company needs to meet.
- Environment Agency Austria and University of Bern: Defining Environmental Risk Assessment Criteria for Genetically Modified Insects to be placed on the EU Market (September 2010)
- Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology: Genetically modified insects (June 2010)
EU research programme INFRAVEC brochure: Research Capacity for the Implementation of Genetic Control of Mosquitoes (2009-2013)
Euros 8.5 million for research on GM mosquitos.
- INFRAVEC homepage: (EU research on GM mosquitos)
- John Marshall (Caltech): The Cartegena Protocol and GM mosquitos
- World Health Organisation (WHO): Progress and prospects for use of genetically modified insects (May 2009)
Phuc et al. (2007) Late-acting dominant lethal genetic systems and mosquito control.
Journal paper by Oxitec and collaborating scientists about the experimental GM mosquitos planned for release in Malaysia.
Scott et al (2002) The Ecology of genetically modified mosquitos. Science, 298, 117-119.
Free registration required.