If you thought genetically modified food was bad enough, think again. Now they are coming out with genetically modified mosquitoes and intend to let them loose in Florida!
I really thought this was a joke when I first saw the headlines. But no. It’s for real.
Oxitec, a British company, wants to use the Florida Keys as a testing ground for releasing GE mosquitoes in the U.S., with plans to release millions of these experimental mosquitoes into the open environment.
Oxitec claims that the genetically engineered mosquitoes might help control mosquitoes that may carry dengue fever. While trying to control the spread of dengue is important, independent scientists aren’t even sure the plan to release these GE mosquitoes will work!
At this point, it’s all risk and no reward. Where are the safety studies?
Residents of the Florida Keys have been vocal in their opposition to this risky experiment and now they need your help to take the message to the FDA. Please help.
There are still many unanswered questions about the impact of these GE insects on our environment. Independent scientists have raised serious concerns about the impacts the GE mosquito could have on the health of people and on sensitive ecosystems.
I can’t help but think about the potential for disaster here. The spread of anything can be rapid when there is a vector such as a mosquito carrying it.
We need independent, transparent safety assessments and a regulatory system equipped to deal with the novel risks from these experimental mosquitoes before they are released into our environment.
This is a nightmare and many things can go awry. I can’t help but picture the parting images in the movie Jurassic Park, where the dinosaurs – that were supposedly not able to reproduce – had in fact, done just that. We just can’t predict the outcome and safety of this experiment on the land and the people of the Florida Keys.
This is similar. It’s a crap shoot. We just don’t know what can happen and once millions of mosquitoes (of all things) are released there is no going back.
We justcan’t predict how this can be contained. After all, mosquitoes fly.
I don’t know about you, but I would not want to be bitten by a genetically modified mosquito.
Unfortunately, the U.S. has no laws on the books to assess or regulate genetically engineered insects or animals — only antiquated regulations meant for “new animal drugs.” These regulations are simply not adequate to address the GE mosquito experiment. The FDA must ensure that health and environmental concerns are addressed and at a minimum put in place strong, updated regulations before deciding whether to allow this risky experiment to move forward.
Let’s not allow them to spoil the Florida Keys!