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Biological crop protection... or biological warfare?

The U.S. government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been accused of trying to create a new class of biological weapons that would be delivered via virus-infected insects.

The Insect Allies program was announced by DARPA in 2016. It is a research project that aims to protect the U.S. agricultural food supply by delivering protective genes to plants via insects, which are responsible for the transmission of most plant viruses. Scientists believe loading the bugs up with viruses that would offer plants protective benefits could be one way of ensuring food security in the event of a major threat.

In an editorial published in the journal Science, a group of researchers led by Richard Guy Reeves, from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Germany, says Insect Allies isn't exactly what it says it is. Instead, they claim DARPA is potentially developing insects as a means of delivering a “new class of biological weapon.”

Read more at Newsweek (Hannah Osborne)


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