In this undated photo provided by Dan Olmstead in May 2017, diamondback moths mate on a cabbage leaf. (Dan Olmstead/Cornell via AP)
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Researchers in a New York cabbage patch are planning the first release on American soil of insects genetically engineered to die before they can reproduce.The work has drawn criticism from organic farming organizations and groups opposed to the use of genetically modified organisms.The organization also worries that straying moths could endanger the organic certification of other farms.Previous work to fight insect pests by stopping reproduction has used radiation to sterilize males, which are released in large numbers so wild females breed with them but produce no offspring."Self-limiting" genes are just the latest in a range of diamondback moth control methods that include insecticidal chemicals as well as predators, parasites and diseases that target the moth, whose caterpillar larvae devour plants in the crucifer family.
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