Genetic Engineering and Invasive Species

What follows is not an economic question. I have no expertise in genetic engineering, though I am a skeptic, worried about possible consequences — and even more worried about corporations is having property rights in such matters. Here is the background to my question:

The biological literature is filled with stories of well-meaning people — sometimes based on scientific studies — introducing a new species in order to possibly modify the habitat. The Australian Cane toads are a case in point.

They are very successful breeders. Each pair of cane toads can lay 33,000 eggs per spawning (some published references estimate they produce as much as 60,000 eggs!). They are also an ecological disaster.

Genetic engineering seems to be somewhat similar to the introduction of new species, but on a far smaller scale. The technology began when the idea was common that each gene was responsible for a single characteristic. Now, people realized that the genome is far more complex than anyone had imagined.

My question is, do we have anything to learn from the experience with the introduction of invasive species?

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