Bellucci Premium Comments on the Potential Release of Genetically Modified Flies that Would Help Mitigate the Presence of Pests on Olive Trees

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Following an article that details further information about the potential release of genetically modified flies to control the population of pests on olive trees, Bellucci Premium makes a statement.

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Bellucci Premium responds to an article that shares an interview with the CEO of Oxitec, Hayden Parry. Oxitec is the creator of the genetically modified olive fly. In the article, Parry details his explanation of why the fly should be released in order to help rid certain olive farms of their olive fly infestations.

According to The Olive Oil Times article published on September 18th titled “Oxitec CEO on Why Trial of its Genetically-Modified Olive Fly Should Go Ahead,” if the British biotech company gets approval, its genetically modified olive fly could be released in Catalonia next year.

“This has been a controversial issue in the agricultural industry,” says the marketing manager for olive oil producer Bellucci Premium, Natalie Sexenian. “The company intends on releasing genetically altered male olive flies. These flies will mate with the female flies in the colonies that are infesting some olive groves. Due to the male flies’ genetic modifications, the larva offspring would fail to develop past a certain stage, therefore killing off the population. This results in a chemical-free way to rid olive flies from olive groves. However, the genetically modified flies may travel and eventually kill off the species altogether.”

The CEO of Oxitec, Hayden Parry, says in the article that there are a few more processes that must be passed before the first release of the genetically modified olive fly. Parry assures that the proper testing has been done in terms of how the genetically modified flies will react with changing climates, and if the fly could potentially escape from the trial site. He also assures that the trial will be completed thoroughly. “This is why one does step-by-step, careful trials,” he is quoted in the article. “It’s critical that these are done within the regulatory process and we often use respected third parties to make sure the trial design and running of the trial are done in the most professional way.”

The article details how the trial in Catalonia still awaits approval. Additionally, there have been interested parties in Greece and Italy. “It will be interesting to see if this trial gets approval,” says Sexenian. “The results of the trial will be very important to the olive oil industry. It will mean the difference between having to use pesticides on crops and being able to use genetically modified male olive flies to control the overall olive fly population.”

Bellucci offers three different types of oil, including an organic option, with a mild peppery flavor and fruity undertones that will satisfy any palate. Bellucci Premium Toscano extra virgin olive oil uses olives that are grown on the beautiful landscapes of Tuscany, and maintained by 3rd and 4th generation farmers. The third type of oil Bellucci produces is the finest 100% Italian extra virgin olive oil, grown in many different regions of Italy.

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Scott Darrohn

Scott Darrohn
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