Global Times warns of US military-led insect project
China's Global Times daily warns of a US defense program known as "Insect Allies".
China's Global Times daily that a US project that began six years ago, in which experiments are taking place on insects, may become an international issue of great concern.
The daily revealed that the Pentagon established in 2016 a defense program called "Insect Allies", which it said was "to confront potential food supply risks". Pentagon wanted to use insects in order to "deliver" a "genetically engineered virus" that could alter crop growth by changing what genes plants express.
$45 million were dedicated to this project, funding at least four research institute.
However, according to critics, this program may be misused by the US-military in order to develop biological weapons "for hostile purposes and their means of delivery." The renowned Max Planck Institute in Germany also said that the project "could easily be misused for developing biological weapons."
According to a partially declassified US Army report from 1981, biological warfare scientists in the US conducted a number of experiments on insects, indicating a long history of using insects as vectors for disease. Many such experiments took place in the 1980s on US citizens without their knowledge, as well as other countries such as Georgia and Russia.
In 2014, a US biolab near Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, was equipped with an insect facility. Tbilisi has been infested with biting flies since 2015 that have developed non-typical behavior, were able to survive indoors year-round and were highly resistance to cold.