Scientists Accuse DARPA of Genetically Modifying Insects for Bioweapon to Spread Agricultural Viruses

Friday, October 5, 2018
By Paul Martin

A scathing report was published in Science Magazine this week that accuses DARPA of developing a bioweapon that uses swarms of modified insects to deliver viruses.

By Matt Agorist
TheFreeThoughtProject.com
October 5, 2018

In a scathing report issued this week, researchers with the Science Policy Forum have accused the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of creating a technology—ostensibly used to genetically modify crops with insects—but that could be converted into a dangerous and illegal bioweapon.

The current program is being funded by the Pentagon’s darling “research” arm DARPA — who last year was found to be spending millions on “genetic extinction technology” that could wipe out entire species. DARPA’s new project, dubbed “Insect Allies” involves releasing fleets of genetically modified insects onto crops which would “infect” plants with a special virus that would genetically modify the plant on location.

As Gizmodo points out, if you think this sounds scary, you are not alone.

The lead author of the new Science Policy Forum report, Richard Guy Reeves from the Department of Evolutionary Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Plön, says the Insect Allies program is a disturbing example of dual-use research in which DARPA, in addition to helping out farmers, is also working on a potential weapon.

Naturally, as is the case with all accusations against DARPA when they get caught working on some sadistic planet killing plot, they are denying the accusations, writing them off as mischaracterizations.

The report was published in Science on October 5, and it is nothing short of chilling. According to researchers, DARPA “aims to disperse infectious genetically modified viruses that have been engineered to edit crop chromosomes directly in fields.”

As Gizmodo explains, the technology at the heart of this research could herald an entirely new way of genetically modifying crops. Instead of having to wait for a plant to pass its newly-acquired traits onto the next generation, genetic changes would be imposed upon living organisms, a process known as horizontal genetic alteration. Hence the technology’s name—Horizontal Environmental Genetic Alteration Agents, or HEGAAs.

The viruses will be delivered using genetically modified insects as a means of overcoming the previous limitations to delivering HEGAAs.

According to the report, “the regulatory, biological, economic, and societal implications of dispersing such horizontal environmental genetic alteration agents (HEGAAs) into ecosystems are profound. Further, this program stipulates that the means of delivery of these viral HEGAAs into the environment should be insect-based dispersion.”

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