Scientists: US military program could be seen as bioweapon

NEW YORK (AP) — A research arm of the U.S. military is exploring the possibility of deploying insects to alter plants’ genes. Some experts say the work may be seen as a potential biological weapon.

In a paper in Science, the authors say the U.S. needs to provide greater justification about the peace-time purpose of its Insect Allies project to avoid being perceived as hostile to other countries.

The military research agency says it has been open about its goal to protect the nation’s food supply from threats like drought, crop disease and bioterrorism. It says the State Department was briefed to ensure the work doesn’t violate international treaties.

The project differs from genetically modified seeds because it seeks to alter crops already growing in fields.

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