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Organic farming group objects to release of genetically engineered moths

A local farming association is criticizing the U.S. Department of Agriculture for issuing a permit for the world’s first open-air trials of the genetically engineered diamondback moths in Geneva.

The genetically altered moths would be released by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.

The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York — or NOFA-NY — which is based in Farmington, said the Environmental Assessment Form for the project lacks comprehensive health and environmental details.

“NOFA-NY considers the release of a novel genetically engineered organism to be a major activity with potentially significant and heretofore unknown health and environmental effects,” said NOFA-NY policy advisor Liana Hoodes.

The organization called on the state Department of Environmental Conservation to require a full environmental impact statement and public hearings under the State Environmental Quality Review Act process.

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