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Nov 2, 2010

Spread of Tomato Moth in Turkey - Production Drops, BT Tomato A Consideration?

On 2 November 2010 the Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review reported on the widespread infection of tomato plants by the tomato moth (tuta absoluta).  This article also expressed the concerns of one Turkish hothouse owner that the potential solution to this insect infestation was reliance on gene modified (GM) tomatoes.

Mustafa Külcü, production manager of Sel Group Hothouses in the Aegean province of Aydın describes how Turkish seed firms are exploring the distribution of Bt GM tomatoes or other GM tomato varieties resistant to the tomato moth.  He says that there is economic pressure to cut crop losses caused by this pest.

There is currently a ban on all GM crops in Turkey.  However, Külcü is apprehensive that seed companies use political pressure to change this.

Turkey has recently been shifting its tomato production to professional hothouse cultivation.  With this change, there was been a shrinkage in overall production.  This is now being further aggravated by the tomato moth infections.  The infections occur in both the outside fields and indoor hothouses.

For more see: "Tomato Moth May Lead to Dreaded GMO," The Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review, 2 November 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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