The death of potato bugs
A new generation of GMO experiments has produced a great result. Using interference technology, an alternative to conventional GMO’s has been found. This alternative could kill crop pests and even temporarily alter a plant’s traits.
Biodirect, a RNA interference spray quickly degrades in soil and can be precise enough to kill a potato bug, but would leave behind the less invasive lady bug. Testing so far, shows that RNA appears no more toxic upon consumption than a human drinking a glass of orange juice.
The US EPA asked last year for help from experts to decide how to regulate RNA insecticides. One scientist stated that RNA products should be left out of the regulations and safety tests because the products are irrelevant to the test. His claim is that there is little to no evidence of any risk from ingesting the RNA products.
After the EPA’s advisors agreed to his claim, they asked what about an ecological risk? While the EPA advisors say there is a warrant for exploration into the environmental effects, those effects would be unintended. While RNA could be natural, the effects of bringing large amounts into the environment could be harmful.
The same scientist is also researching the use of RNA interference to kill a mite that may be partially responsible for the role in the bee die-offs.
For more information on the targeting of insects please click here.