Oxitec hiding behind questionable statements
26 September 2019 / Oxitec is casting doubt on a recently published scientific paper reporting the uncontrolled spread of genetically engineered mosquitoes in Brazil. The company is saying that only about five percent of the insects would have survived, and there are no indications that they would spread in future. In addition, they say there is no evidence to show that the transgenes have actually spread with the mosquitoes which survived the trials. However, the claims made by Oxitec are scientifically unconvincing.
Today, the European Court of Justice published the decision on a legal case filed by Testbiotech together with the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) and the environmental organisation Sambucus (C-82/17 P). The organisations are concerned about the risks connected with genetically engineered soybeans produced by Monsanto (Bayer) and sold under the brand name “Intacta”. According to the decision of the Court, the risks of the genetically engineered soybeans have been investigated sufficiently before they were allowed for import.
According to a new scientific publication, genetically engineered mosquitoes produced by Oxitec (Intrexon) have escaped human control after trials in Brazil. They are now spreading in the environment. The yellow fever mosquitos (Aedes aegypti) are genetically engineered to make it impossible for their offspring to survive. After release they were supposed to mate with female mosquitos of the species which are transmitting infectious diseases, such as Dengue fever, to diminish the natural populations.
GeneTip project publishes initial results
19 August 2019 / The GeneTip research project was a joint enterprise carried out from 2017 until 2019 by the Universities of Bremen and Vechta, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna and Testbiotech, Munich. The researchers focussed mainly on risks associated with the uncontrolled spread into the environment of newly designed genetically engineered organisms. In particular, the project examined plants and animals with a so-called gene-drive.