GMO : Olive flies genetically modified from the company Oxitec: expected release in Spain?

The British company Oxitec plans to release in Spain in Catalonia near the city of Tarragona, flies olive GENETICALLY MODIFIED ..


  • The olive fly :
  • GM male flies had  their DNA modified  so that by copulating with females native flies, the female descendants (as larvae) die, while the male descendants survive. In theory, after several years, this would result in the extinction of species of flies olive trees.
  • Oxitec plans to release for testing up to 5,000 GM male flies per week on a 1000m2 area near Tarragona over a year.

the risks :

  1. Release of genetically modified flies beyond the area with GM contamination in Spain, Portugal and possibly throughout the entire Mediterranean region. Organic farmers might not be able to avoid their products coming into contact with these flies, and therefore their food products might then contain the biotech-larvae. Markets could be lost as a consequence – and in an extreme scenario, the whole of the harvest in the Mediterranean area could be affected if consumers reject those products.
  2. In case of disappearance of fly species in question, biodiversity will be affected and the entire food chain (predators of these flies will be impacted and if they disappear, other insects that are part of their diet, can develop and cause harm to crops).
  3. The horizontal transfers of DNA are well known and studied, and the modified genes will be able be present in the indigenous populations of flies with unstudied risks .. And what about the possible gene transfer to other species of flies?
  • Flies are manipulated by Oxitec with synthetic DNA which is a mixture of marine organisms, bacteria, viruses and other insects.While Oxitec claims their strains were genetically stable in the laboratory, nobody can predict genetic stability and ecological behaviour of these insects, once released. 
  • In consequence this is a technology to endanger risk biodiversity, organic farming and future of olive production in whole meditarrenean area. The experiment is driven solely by the interest of Oxitec and its investors to get maximum profit from its patented technology.
  • For the moment no information on the possible authorization by the Spanish government, but if it is given, it would be the 1st release of genetically modified animals in the European Union.
  • To Note :
  • In 2013 a first application for field trials in Spain was withdrawn after public protests.
  • Who is OXITEC?
  • Note that the 5 corporate executive members are from companies like Syngenta, Bayer and Zeneca …….
  • « Scientific » and industry which play the sorcerer’s apprentices again
  • FOR DISTRIBUTION  ++++ !!! including NGOs and elected officials

  • For more information or support, contact person: Christoph Then <>

Pétition sended to Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo Territorial – Procuraduría Estatal de Protección al Ambien , Sindic de Greuges Rafael Ribó: Sindic de Greuges, Alcalde de Tarragona Josep Ballesteros:

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