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Genetically Modified Maggots may Appear in Fruit Due to GMO Fruit Fly Experiment in Brazil

Christina Sarich
June 19th, 2014
Updated 06/19/2014 at 1:37 am
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gmo maggots fruit 263x164 Genetically Modified Maggots may Appear in Fruit Due to GMO Fruit Fly Experiment in BrazilWait – wasn’t the point of making genetically modified crops to make them pest resistant? At least that is what biotech companies tell us. Monsanto’s own website says, for example, that “Bt, or Bacillus thuringiensis, is a modern solution to insect control.” So why on earth would Brazil allow for GMO Mediterranean fruit flies (Ceratitis capitata), which have been planned to be unleashed on millions of acres of fruit trees?

While the experiment has yet to be given a release date in Brazil, the GM fruit flies are likely going to lead to GM maggots in fruit that will then be illegally exported to Europe and other countries. What could cause this?

Once released, the genetically altered fruit flies will mate with flies to produce female offspring which will fail to reach full maturity, thereby leaving GM maggots inside fruit. This hair-brained scheme is another wacky brainchild of the biotech industry as a means to reduce wild populations of Mediterranean fruit flies, but there is obviously no precedence, no field testing which proves this would be safe, and will likely lead to other imbalances in the ecosystem which can create further super bugs that will make a mere fruit fly seem like a welcome friend.

Furthermore, to reduce the wild fruit fly population, it must be outnumbered by a 10 to 1 ratio, meaning that a whole lot of GM maggots may infiltrate fruit from Brazil. This will include its exports of melons, grapes, mango, apples, papayas, and plums. Europe is Brazil’s primary export market. The British and Dutch made almost two thirds of their fruit purchases from Brazil in 2013, and Spain, Germany, Portugal, Canada, the UAE, Uruguay, Italy, and Argentina were close behind.

This is comparable to the creation of genetically modified mosquitoes to wipe out Dengue Fever. Oxitec, a UK-based company responsible for the creation of genetically modified insects, is currently involved with pilot programs concerning the release of GMO mosquitoes. This has already raised some questions which can also be asked for the GMO fruit flies:

  • What could happen to the ecosystem and local food chain after it has been infiltrated with genetically modified bugs?
  • Who will regulate the release, and who will be responsible in the event of complications – to any degree?

Even though food containing genetically modified organisms is supposed to be tested, and labeled, there are currently no laws to protect consumers from GM maggots. These are creepy times indeed. I think I’ll grow my own heirloom fruit. Here are 5 foods you can grow from store-bought produce.

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  • archont

    What an offensively stupid article.

    No, the scheme isn’t hare-brained. It works. Provably so, as was the case with mosquitos.

    It’s a long-term solution and it’s a targeted one meaning you’re not waging chemical warfare on every arthropod in the area, just the ones you want dead. That’s less collateral ecosystem damage, not more, Christina you silly cow.

    Furthermore, why should GM maggots be any worse than wholesome natural maggots? Are you seriously thinking that random, unsupervised mutations are less likely to make an organism toxic to us than deliberate and purposeful modifications?

    There are valid criticisms to levy against business practices related to GM. This is baseless fear-mongering.

    • Christina Kalix

      You call warning against experimental gmo insects that will be eaten by local birds, frogs, spiders, wasps, hornets (and in all probability harm them and other vital pollinators) fear mongering? You and others like you are whats wrong with the world. I suppose you also support sterilizing people against their will and believe that the massive die off(s) of ocean creatures have no connection to Japan dumping radioactive waste from it’s Fukushima plant into the ocean or from our (USA) oil rig in the gulf coast that is still dumping millions of gallons into the ocean while President Obama plays golf. If you want to call out fear mongering go hackle Alex Jones. That’s some fear mongering “journalism”.

      • archont

        I call warning against GMO insects being eaten by local birds, frogs, spiders, wasps and hornets fear mongering. Baseless, sensationalist, irrational fear-mongering born of ignorance and stupidity.

        Why are onions and cocoa beans fine to eat for people and lethal for cats and dogs? How come cows can graze on plants that would cause severe sickness in humans? Why can amazonian birds eat insects that would kill you in minutes?

        Because all plants and animals are in one way or another *toxic*, and that’s by default. It’s just that over the course of evolution, we’ve gained the enzymes and metabolic pathways to neutralize a range of those toxins.

        To accidentally introduce a new and unknown toxin into fruit flies would be akin to accidentally writing a literary analysis of John Milton by bashing your head against the keyboard. It’s not impossible, but it’s not very likely either. Bash your head against it long enough though, and you’ll get botulin, atropine, oxalic acid and ricin. This is how those nasty compounds came into existence in the first place – over the course of trillions upon trillions of random, unsupervised mutations and countless generations.

        Animals deal with radiation quite well, actually, because in the wild, few species have the human luxury of dying of age. Since we live past 40, cancer is a problem for us, not so much for an old deer that just can’t keep up with the pack. Look at the Chernobyl zone – species that were thought to be extinct or endangered like Przewalski’s horses are thriving there. It’s effectively turned into Europe’s biggest nature reserve – the negative effects of radiation seem to be marginal compared to the immense boon of virtually no human activity.

        The animals that are most impacted by seaborne radioactive particles are at the top of the food chain – ie. humans.

        Of all your points, oil is the only one that sticks, and yes, it’s a real problem with measurable impact on sea life.

        I’m not a proponent of eugenics though and I wouldn’t like to sterilize you or anyone else – knocking some sense into your head however would be well in order.

        • Christina Kalix

          Very informed and well written, but once you reference Milton I get it. I see where you come from and it’s not the same country I’m in. I’d reference St. John the Divine and invite you to knock around The Apocalyspe with me so you can see the prophecies are fulfilled. Antichrist came, had war with the saints, sat in the temple of God, was one of 7 kings, had a deadly wound that healed, had a false prophet who held same power in his sight, taught that man is God and all that is written. I’d like to refute some of your points but I’m multitasking while brunch cooks and hungry kids wait. However I read something that made me think of this and thought I’d share. Here’s what to do with the fruit flies, it’ll kill them in a week(ps warning I like Natural News but have found some of their writers doing the fear mongering as well):

  • herecomesthesun

    The ‘soulless psychopaths’ have found each other, colluded and organized. With the help of the internet, which we so value for finding that out! Too late. Brace yourselves for what’s next but don’t let vigilance turn to paranoia, and take care of children next. Close to good-to-go already: GM bananas and Monsanto developing GM cannabis in Uruguay. Also, GM plant-grown Rx drugs, cloned creatures, syn-bio, nano-bio.

  • Undecider

    This is all because the entire point of GMO is as an assault against humanity. We need to fight is though it were and enemy that is needed to be destroyed. Not just have picket signs waved against it.

    • ash6222

      I would say that GMO is mostly a matter of control over one system. There will be solutions from other tech fields that will allow us to be toxified and yet still survive – that is also a mechanism of control since we will need the solution or suffer/perish. Humans have been trying to control every aspect of nature and the assault will remain as long as the soulless psychopaths keep retaining power. Sad world we live in since most people care more about the soccer game than humanity, liberty, and the health of the earth.

    • archont

      How about you focus your energy on finding a wholesome solution to the fly problem instead?

      • Christina Kalix

        I have a great natural solution. Find out what the natural predator of the fly is and breed them without using genetic modifications then release them. Similar to farmers keeping cats so the mice population don’t explode and invade his storehouses. And when I say breed the predator without GM modification I do indeed mean that if you need to pay scientists to set up controlled environments in which to breed the natural predator in a natural yet controlled environment then that’s what you need to do. We dump so much money into scientific research for things like studying the mating habits of animals for no reason it would be great to fund meaningful research.

        • archont

          The fruit fly, much like mosquitos, don’t have exclusive predators. There’s plenty of species that will eat a fruit fly or mosquito if it happens to be easy prey, but generally, they’re not nutritious enough to be a primary food source for any predatory insect.

          To have an effect, you’d have to breed and release huge quantities of predatory insects, and I’m afraid that their choice of menu would be quite indiscriminate, including pollinators and other fruit fly predators as well.

          Programs like this have been tried – like introducing large populations of mosquito fish to eat larvae – and they did reduce the populations, but mosquitoes can lay their larvae in sitting water inside of tires, ditches… any kind of water-filled depression that’s too small for a fish will suit them fine.

          • Christina Kalix

            What is the scientific name of mosquito eaters? I know mosquitoes have predators, they look very much the same but larger, they overpower and carry them off. Not sure of their names as I’ve been raised to call them simply mosquito-eaters. Everything has predators, perhaps we just don’t know it yet since we spend so much taxpayer dollars on other studies.

            • archont

              They’re called mosquito predators.. mostly birds, but also dragonflies, bats and all the aquatic life that feeds on the larvae. Mosquito predators are well known, but ineffective as mosquito control. There are no exclusive mosquito predators – animals will eat whatever and whenever they like, the closest thing to what you’re talking about would be a something like a microbial agent that affects only mosquitos.