food sustainability

OXITEC’S FRIENDLY™ INSECTS ARE being developed to be Targeted, safe, and sustainable systems FOR PROTECTING CROPS AGAINST the growing threat OF THE WORLD’S MOST DAMAGING PESTS

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Oxitec’s Friendly™ technology has been developed to provide precision-based pest suppression system that is safe, environmentally-friendly and self-limiting, allowing farmers to effectively control pest insects without trading effectiveness for sustainability.



Friendly™ technology provides farmers with the ability to combat damaging insect pests in a way that is compatible with other tools, supporting sustainability and, potentially, helping to reduce or reverse insect resistance to other crop protection tools.


Environmentally Friendly

Our technology is friendly to the environment, targeting only the target insect pest and allowing other insects, like bees and butterflies, to survive unharmed.


our purpose

We exist as an organization to develop groundbreaking insect-based technologies to combat the growing threat posed by agricultural insects that are damaging crops globally. All of our team members are passionate about this purpose, and we’re working 24/7 to build technologies that will protect crops for decades to come.

Agricultural pests cause billions of dollars of crop damage around the world, having a significant impact on food quality, security and economic wellbeing. Unfortunately, current control methods do not always work and can have negative impacts on the environment.

Insecticides are a key part of a farmer’s toolbox, but many insects are becoming resistant to these chemicals. There is also growing consumer pressure to reduce insecticide use on food crops. As a result, farmers are increasingly looking for alternative tools that are effective and environmentally responsible to deal with this problem.

We offer an environmentally sustainable solutions, using the latest in biotechnology to control the numbers of these agricultural pests globally as an alternative to less targeted approaches. Our technology is based on scientifically-proven work stemming from our initial beginnings at Oxford University, and now, almost 20 years later, we remain the leader in developing insect solutions that are self-limiting, safe, effective, and capable of meeting the needs of a changing planet.

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Our Solution

Our Friendly™ crop protection technology is simple — we have genetically engineered our male insects to carry a single self-limiting gene. After mating with targeted wild-type female pests, the male passes on to his progeny the self-limiting gene, which is designed to prevent the female offspring from surviving: it is the females that are responsible for producing the offspring that feed on crops. Because these female offspring do not mature to reproduce, the pest population is reduced. Recent studies also show that sustained releases of these Friendly™ male insects can reduce or delay resistance to other approaches, including pesticides and biotech crops, which means that Oxitec’s Friendly™ technology has the unique potential of unlocking additional value in other methods of pest control.

Read more about the technology here.