Comunicato stampa – Oxitec progetta il lancio di mosche GM in Spagna

Media release

UK company plans to release genetically engineered flies in Spain

Trial puts biodiversity and olive production in the Mediterranean region at risk

27 July 2015 / The UK company Oxitec is planning to release genetically engineered olive flies into the environment in Spain (Catalonia). The insects are genetically manipulated in such a way that female descendants will die as larvae feeding inside the olives, while the next generations of male flies will survive. Oxitec plans to release up to 5000 of these flies per week in Spain, near the town of Tarragona. The field trial expected to last for one year will cover a netted area of 1000m2. However, if the flies escape they can spread without any control. Olive flies are regarded as a species that spreads rapidly in a suitable habitat. Over time their offspring might be distributed throughout the Mediterranean region and all the locations where native populations occur. A broad coalition of mostly representative organisations from Mediterranean countries such France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain are demanding that any release of these flies should be banned completely.