The British company Oxitec is working on genetically modified insects that are designed to kill off pests that feed on crops such as cabbages, broccoli, tomatoes and fruit.
The firm insists the technology is a green alternative to the use of chemical sprays, which have their own dangers for human health and the countryside.
It accused critics of scaremongering and said there is zero chance of its insects being used on farms without thorough checks on all aspects of their safety.
However, a new report from GM critics and public interest groups argues food watchdogs in Britain, Europe and beyond are failing to put in place a thorough testing and safety regime.
They warn, for example, that the larvae of these GM insects could get in to human food on vegetables and fruit without any checks on the risk to health.
Oxitec has already developed a number of GM insects, including moths and mosquitoes.