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Crops > Vegetables > Crucifers > Head cabbage > DBM, new (GMO) treatments

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DBM, new treatmets

August 2015. Scientists at Oxford University have added a “self-limiting” gene to DBM in an attempt to control the moth in ways that were environmentally benign. This provoked some discussion.

Some members were in favour, others less so. A member sent an article on a natural way to control the moth published by CTA:

Another thought that the work was very interesting but likely has some way to go before it is used in the field.
The ACIAR funded Pacific ICM program has been working on diamondback moth management in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. Last year the project launched an effective Bt product together with an insecticide resistance management strategy to ensure that the Bt (and other selective insecticides that are now available in the region) retains its efficacy against this damaging pest (see brief details in the attached pdf). The Bt is now commercially available in Fiji at a very competitive price – details attached in references below.
With respect to the cost of DBM, you are undoubtedly correct about the underestimate of the cost of DBM damage. The figure of $5 billion quoted in the article below seems to have been taken from one of our recent papers (also attached) and we did not factor in the costs to small scale/subsistence farmers due to the lack of reliable data.

GMO DBM is a safer way to control insect pests

July 2015.


Genetically Modified Diamond moth is Safer Way to Control Insect Pests

Submitted by Andrea Cordell on Fri, 07/17/2015 – 12:06 Genetically Modified Diamond moth is Safer Way to Control Insect Pests

Diamondback moth, an invasive species of moth, causes severe damage to cabbages, kale, canola and other crops across the world. Owing to which, $5 billion in crop damage has to be faced every year. Now, researchers from Oxford University have come up with a pesticide-free and environmental friendly way to tackle the problem.

Scientists from the Oxford University spinout company Oxitec said that they have developed diamondback moths having self-limiting gene. Introduction of these moths have brought significant decline in the population in greenhouse trials.

The self-limiting gene technique has proved to be successful when it comes to curbing dengue fever-carrying mosquitoes. The technique has cut their population by more than 90% in Brazil, Panama and theCayman Islands.

Study’s lead researcher Neil Morrison, an Oxitec research scientist was of the view, “This research is opening new doors for the future of farming with pest control methods that are non-toxic and pesticide-free”.

Prof. Tony Shelton from Cornell University in the United States was of the view that Diamondback is a big problem for farmers in New York State and across the world. There is a need to have new tools to control the pests as the moths attack the crop and are developing resistance to insecticides.

The genetic modification approach is considered to be safer and better in comparison to insecticides, which can affect a range of insects. Even if the birds or other animals eat the months, they would not suffer harmful effects.


Title Owner Date Size
Estimating the Economic Cost of One of the World’s Major Insect Pests, Plutella xylostella Grahame Jackson 12/9/2015 509.65 KB
Bt for the Pacific Grahame Jackson 12/9/2015 889.45 KB