Are you aware that genetically modified mosquitoes are being set for release worldwide? Right after GM mosquitoes were let loose in Brazil, dengue fever cases spiked. Now, the Florida Keys are in danger of facing a similar fate. The mosquitoes haven’t even been officially approved, but Oxitec, the British company who created the mosquitoes, has already shipped them to Florida. The only hope is a very vocal grassroots effort to tell the Governor of Florida that these mosquitoes will ruin tourism and possibly turn the natural ecosystem there on its head.
The GM mosquitoes could be released in the Keys as early January or February of next year. Though the approval process is still underway, Oxitec is so sure they will have its way that it shipped the mosquitoes in anticipation.
So far, there are no reported cases of dengue fever in Florida this year, so why do they need GM mosquitoes meant to prevent the spread of such diseases? When they were used in Brazil, they increased dengue fever while upsetting the ecological balance of the area. They did not ‘pave the way for dengue fever protection’ as Oxitec propagandized. A state of emergency actually had to be declared in the town where the GM mosquitoes were released.
Why on earth would Floridians want to be subject to the same possibility?
Not one environmental or human health study has been conducted on the GM mosquitoes. Once they are released, it isn’t as if you can round them all up again if there is a problem. Just like with GM crops, they can also interbreed with non-GM mosquitoes passing on the same traits. Oxitec’s own website explains:
“Oxitec’s genetically sterile male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes will mate with the wild (non-sterile) Aedes aegypti females.”