Genetically Modified Diamond moth is Safer Way to Control Insect Pests

Diamondback moth, an invasive species of moth, causes severe damage to cabbages, kale, canola and other crops across the world. Owing to which, $5 billion in crop damage has to be faced every year. Now, researchers from Oxford University have come up with a pesticide-free and environmental friendly way to tackle the problem.

Scientists from the Oxford University spinout company Oxitec said that they have developed diamondback moths having self-limiting gene. Introduction of these moths have brought significant decline in the population in greenhouse trials.

The self-limiting gene technique has proved to be successful when it comes to curbing dengue fever-carrying mosquitoes. The technique has cut their population by more than 90% in Brazil, Panama and theCayman Islands.

Study’s lead researcher Neil Morrison, an Oxitec research scientist was of the view, “This research is opening new doors for the future of farming with pest control methods that are non-toxic and pesticide-free”.

Prof. Tony Shelton from Cornell University in the United States was of the view that Diamondback is a big problem for farmers in New York State and across the world. There is a need to have new tools to control the pests as the moths attack the crop and are developing resistance to insecticides.

The genetic modification approach is considered to be safer and better in comparison to insecticides, which can affect a range of insects. Even if the birds or other animals eat the months, they would not suffer harmful effects.

United Kingdom