Pentagon’s ‘Insect Allies’ Designed To Protect Food Supply Could Be Construed As Biological Weapons, Critics Say
The program's goal is to use gene-editing technology to get insects to infect plants with viruses that protect against such dangers.
The Associated Press:
Scientists: US Military Program Could Be Seen As Bioweapon
A research arm of the U.S. military is exploring the possibility of deploying insects to make plants more resilient by altering their genes. Some experts say the work may be seen as a potential biological weapon. (Choi and Borenstein, 10/4)
The Washington Post:
The Pentagon Is Studying An Insect Army To Defend Crops. Critics Fear A Bioweapon.
The program, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has a warm and fuzzy name: “Insect Allies.” But some critics find the whole thing creepy. A team of skeptical scientists and legal scholars published an article in the journal Science on Thursday arguing that the Insect Allies program opens a “Pandora’s box" and involves technology that “may be widely perceived as an effort to develop biological agents for hostile purposes and their means of delivery.” A website created by the critics puts their objection more bluntly: “The DARPA program is easily weaponized.” (Achenbach, 10/4)