THE first field trial of a genetically modified insect could take place in Spain.

A UK biotechnologht company has applied for permission to carry out the tests on GM olive flies.

The aim is to combat the olive crop pest by releasing male flies that have a female killing gene.

If the GM flies can outbreed the wild flies, the female offspring will die – reducing the olive fly population.

Olive flies are the single major pest of olive production, and can wipe out an entire olive crop if left untreated.