Mutant Mosquitoes To Be Released Near Florida

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Odds are you have already heard of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), especially in relation to food crops such as corn, wheat and potatoes, and how individuals and countries are electing to avoid them. But now, British biotechnology company, Oxitec, is seeking Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval to “field test” its genetically modified mosquito in the Florida Keys. Citing an increase in tropical diseases from climate change and globalization, companies like Oxitec seek to control disease-spreading mosquito populations.

Certainly mosquitoes are an issue in the Florida Keys, where despite spraying insecticides continuously, the local mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti, continue to flourish and have even adapted to become resistant to four out of the six pesticides used. Aedes aegypti, also known as the yellow fever mosquito, can spread Dengue Fever and Chikungunya, two highly painful diseases for which there are no vaccines yet.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are only about 28 cases of Chikungunya per year in the United States, usually from individuals who had been traveling in the Caribbean or in Asia. On its website, the CDC states the last real outbreak of Dengue in the continental U.S. was in 2005, in Texas.

Oxitec aims to reduce the mosquito population by introducing its genetically modified specimens. The company has developed a way of inserting fragments of genetic material from other organisms, such as coral and E. coli bacteria, into the male mosquitoes. The males are then released to mate with the females in the wild, and this genetic material passes from the males and essentially kills the larvae resulting from these couplings. gmomosquito

Oxitec claims this same genetic material poses no threat to other organisms and will not interfere with humans at all, as only the male mosquitoes will be released and it is only the females who bite. Even if bitten, none of the genetically modified material would enter a human’s bloodstream, they claim. But others say the company has not done enough to prove these claims.

“Why are we being used as the experiment, the guinea pigs, just to see what happens?” Marilyn Smith, a Key West resident wondered at a public meeting following a presentation by Oxitec, according to an Associated Press report.

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Oxitec released 3.3 million of these modified mosquitoes in the Cayman Islands over six months in 2012. Residents say there was an issue of informed consent, as no one was informed stray females from the lab could also escape into the wild population.

“To say that there’s no genetically modified DNA that might get into a human, that’s kind of a gray matter,” Phil Lounibos, of the Florida Entomology Laboratory, told the AP.

Oxitec is hoping to release its mosquitoes from its lab in Key West this spring. To date, it has released 70 million modified mosquitoes in countries around the world. A petition on Change.org has already garnered over 140 thousand signatures pleading for government agencies to refuse Oxitec’s plans for Florida. Theresa Eisenman, spokeswoman for the FDA, told the AP the FDA would not give Oxitec the go-ahead until the FDA has “thoroughly reviewed all the necessary information.”


Sources:

http://www.contracostatimes.com/environment/ci_27390300/millions-gmo-insects-could-be-released-florida-keys

http://rt.com/usa/226203-florida-mosquitoes-gmo-insects/

18 COMMENTS

  1. It’s incredible how corporations are doing this bad things to environment…we already can see that they will release this mosquitoes no matter how…even with and accident on factory. Try to make more resistent bees to spread polen, that we need…

  2. Two sets of rules…Two sets of regulation…One set for the common man and one set for those that have MONEY…Things have not changed in centuries!

    Clickbait is what it is all about Dan…You must get the attention of the masses because most have the attention span of a Mosquito!

      • There are species that live off of mosquitos as a source of food. Without mosquitos, there wouldn’t be any sort of balance.. Not saying everything is perfect in our world, but doing this would just be one more thing that humans are changing and messing with. Everything is a chain of reactions, like a domino effect. For example, birds may be effected with less mosquitos, then the birds start to die off, then there are not enough birds to feed.. whatever eats birds. Everything is a cycle and the involvement of humans does not improve nearly anything.

  3. They have genetically modified mosquitoes with ecoli and herpes. they plan to release them in the Florida keys not near Florida but in Florida. They claim to be only releasing a thousand male only mosquitoes so that they would mate with natural females so that the combination of Ecoli and herpes will destroy any larvae. They claim it is 100% safe but they can not guarantee that there will not be any larvae that will survive and mutate. SMH when will they learn?

  4. O No, Nothing could possibly go wrong with releasing a giant mutant bug seem just to make perfect sense.Until the evolve

  5. John, the kind of control you’re attempting simply is… it’s not possible. If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh… well, there it is.

  6. Here’s a novel idea.. why not create better breeding grounds for green tree frogs and other mosquito-eating creatures? Oh.. because there’s no money in that sort of thing

  7. Humans still haven’t learned that it’s not the environment that needs to change, but the people. We need to stop building useless things and restore nature and just start over. We’re not making any good, just messing things up further.

    • Well said, Sienna and spot on. I also happen to believe that our level of technology of medicine, biology, genetics, and all practical earth science is severely primitive compared to the possibilities in the rest of the Universe. I think that we do have the power to phuc things up; but we never progress to making things better, long term. That’s because we haven’t yet learned to respect the possibilities of advanced life forms having already been where we are.
      We only “win” if we don’t play the game, truthfully.
      The game consists of doing ANYTHING that can enhance business and profit for the select few, and not for all. Nicholas Tesla proved that, a century ago. No one wanted to listen to him. Edison was power and profit driven, and could be considered an impetus for the attitudes that developed to open the gates of greed, avarice, and corruption toward a ‘maximize profits’ first prize. Go ahead and believe that our current system is the “best” that can be… How’s that been working out for planet earth, so far, eh? Capitalism = Over advertised and severely under capable.

  8. Barriers; these are the main achilles heel of our race. We bicker and whine at different ethnic groups and at ourselves. we have to learn and make the masses understand that if we ALL stand up and live in truth, capitalism will fail to entice. This mutant mozzy is just another step backwards, when will those ‘holy’r than though’ realise that their tampering is putting the mockers on progress?

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