The FDA Has Approved The Release Of Mutant Mosquitos In Florida…. Weird!
By now almost everybody has heard of the term GMO, genetically modified organisms.
We’ve heard of GMO’s in relations to our food crops such as corn, wheat and potatoes.
Most people, for health reasons, go out of their way to avoid this mutated food that has proven to cause cancer and other ailments in laboratory mice.
Now, the FDA has approved the release of mutant mosquitoes in Florida. This “field test” will be released in the Florida Keys to control disease spreading mosquito populations.
Mosquitoes are a huge issue in Florida where the local mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti a.k.a. yellow fever mosquitoes, have become immune to four out of the six pesticides used to keep them under control.
These mosquitoes have been known to spread Dengue Fever and Chikungunya, a highly painful diseases which there is no vaccine for. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are only approximately 28 cases of Chikungunya in the United States per year.
The CDC reports that the last real outbreak of Dengue in the United States was in 2005 in Texas.
Oxitec, The company in charge of this “field test”, aims to reduce the mosquito population by introducing its genetically modified specimens.
They will insert fragments of the genetic material from other organisms, such as coral and E. coli bacteria, into the male mosquitoes. The males will then be released into the wild to mates with the female mosquitoes. Once the mating is complete, the female mosquito will die.
Oxitec Claims the same genetic material poses no threat to other organisms and will not interfere with humans at all, since only the male mosquitoes will be released and it’s only the females who bite.
Even if bitten, none of the genetically modified material would enter a human’s bloodstream, so they claim. However, others say the company has not done enough to prove these claims that the mutant mosquitoes are not harmful.
“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.
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 straight females from the lab could also escape into the wild population.
“To say 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 Associated Press.