Petition launched to stop release of GM mosquitoes

| 31/05/2016 | 98 Comments
Cayman News Service

Aedes aegypti mosquito

(CNS): A group of concerned Caymanians has launched an online petition calling for the suspension of the planned release in West Bay of genetically modified mosquitoes. The group believes Caymanians are being used as “lab rats” in the pilot project by the UK-based bio-technology firm Oxitec. The Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) has partnered with the company in a trial to eliminate the invasive Aedes aegypti using sterile GM male mosquitoes, which would eliminate the use of pesticides. However, not everyone is convinced the technique is safe.

The petitioners, who had collected over 480 signatures by Tuesday morning, want government to but the brakes on the project until further research and reviews of additional reports can be conducted. The petitioners say they have concerns that the general public was unaware of the negotiations between MRCU and Oxitec over the project until it was a done deal. The project could also be costing the public purse well over $1 million, according to figures released by the finance minister Monday in his Budget Speech.

Describing the announcement of what appeared to be a fait accompli as “an absolute disrespect and disregard for the wishes of the people”, the petition said there had been no time for debate.

See the petition here

Though the petitioners admit people have been infected by dengue fever and chikungunya, they pointed to Cayman’s low and sporadic rate of infectious disease transmitted by the Aedes aegypti and said it was not a major public health issue. They said the MRCU had done a tremendous job reducing and controlling the mosquito population in the country.

However, speaking at a public meeting in West Bay about the proposed release of the GM mosquitoes, MRCU Director Dr Bill Petrie explained the challenges the unit faces. The regular aerial operations are targeting Cayman’s native mosquitoes but reducing the human-loving, urban-living Aedes aegypti is considerably more difficult as the insect is becoming more resistant to pesticides used on it and its close proximity to people makes it even harder to tackle.

The National Conservation Council has also given the nod to the project, having issued a licence to the MRCU, as the board members said the science could prove a much more environmentally friendly option that pesticides.

Nevertheless, the petitioners fear that the GM mosquitoes may be even more dangerous than the pesticides. They claim that Oxitec has not been entirely truthful about its bio-technology and engineered insects. With differences between reports from the firm and those by other bodies, including the United States Food and Drug Administration, the petitioners are concerned over the numbers of sterile mosquitoes to be released.

“Causing the most concern within the public is Oxitec’s admission of the sheer number of mosquitoes intended for release, Oxitec’s contradictory information regarding the effects and capabilities of those mutant mosquitoes that are proposed to be released within direct proximity to our homes and, perhaps most distressing is the concern that there is not substantial evidence to validate Oxitec claims that genetically modified mosquitoes are harmless,” the petition states.

Caymanians United To Suspend GM Mosquitoes Project Facebook page

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Category: Environmental Health, Health, Medical Health

Comments (98)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    There have been questions raised that the GMM released In Brazil are the CAUSE of the NEW side effects of Zika! The fact that herpes simplex is used to Modify said Mozzies and now Zika is also transmitted sexually. Never before seen birth defects from Zika, birth defects that ARE genetics based!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cubans running the water system, Jamaicans running transportation, Hondurans running the entertainment, British running the judicial and Caymanians running Caymanians down.

    The Caymanians are the most successful category though! They have a 100% success rate at tearing each other down. The other category’s have to fight to accomplish. Caymanians are just 100% all natural and accomplished in their race!!


    • Anonymous says:

      Let us not dwell in the negative mind set of times of old. There is a new unification happening within Caymanians and several young Caymanians are making strides against these odds.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If there is one thing Caymanians excel at, it’s being critical and stopping initiatives of any sort. Must be nice to have all that free time on your hands.

    • Anonymous says:

      so true….poor Dwene…he should have known better than to try to get some truth on a topic without running into a buncha Caymanians who would try to tear him apart for it…feel sorry for the guy….and worse for the terrorist who trying to assassinate his character to defend a large corporation’s desire and money-making effort by introducing 22M mosquitoes into a country who’s already complaining about having so many…LOL! Buncha hateful, anti-Caymanian Caymanians! LOL!

  4. Anonymous says:

    The terrible truth is big business giants like Monsanto and Oxitec are likely untrustworthy. Unfortunately, while they seem to be trying to do a good thing, they are willfully not fully disclosing results or fully testing for obviously issues. So their sole intent is very likely greed and power. We can no longer take the risk to ourselves, our children, our loved ones, our neighbors, our community, our island or our environment. Are we really willing to suffer so some CEO can buy his 3rd holiday home that is fully equipped to withstand what only he knows are the coming consequences.

  5. Anonymous says:

    GeneWatch UK comments on FDA Docket FDA-2014-N-2235: Draft Environmental
    Assessment and Preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact Concerning
    Investigational Use of Oxitec OX513A Mosquitoes, May 2016:

    Please ask Oxitec to respond to all these fully referenced concerns.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am just waiting for some sanctimonious, pro-mozzie finger-wagging from the Compass tomorrow. I’ll bet the editorial staff have been stuck on Google all day today.
    Can’t wait to see what Alden will have them saying.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is crazy! Would you rather wait until we are in the middle of a Zika epidemic to sort this problem out or would you rather nip it in the bud now? Do most of you even know why you are against the release of these GM mosquitos? Or are you just ignorantly following some conspiracy theorists blog?

    • Anonymous says:

      Those who stand for nothing will for anything. Sounds like you?

      • Anonymous says:

        No, you just don’t like my opinion. Again, NOTHING was said on your end as to WHY you don’t want this to happen. I am winning this conversation because you lot have not actually said anything that is valid against the release. Change my mind, I like to be informed, that is why I am for this science.

        • NotNice says:

          Here is the problem with your argument my friend. You like to be informed with complete disillusion and bow to every peck and command from those in positions of power. I’ve had enough of those belittling “conspiracy theorists”. You are a complete sheep who flock with the herd right to slaughter house. “You are in this for science” and it will be the exact reason for your demise. Take some time….explore the other side of the coin instead of labelling someone as “conspiracy” just because they don’t accept the narrative forced onto them. If Monsanto came down here and gave out GMO seeds laced with pesticides to all our local farmers and the government was lobbying that it was perfectly safe, you would be first in line waving your hands in delight. You lose at life in general.

          • Anonymous says:

            Actually you know nothing about me. I am not for monsanto and actually donate to organization that fight them. I have read and watched tv programs that are unbiased about the GM mos and came to my conclusion that way. You need to give me facts about what you are so afraid of! You still haven’t done so! Quit acting like you know me and have a decent conversation.

            • NotNice says:

              Why do I have to give you facts? My argument is clear. I do not wish to be lab rat for a multi-million corporate entity that is driven by one thing: profit. is that too much to ask? Zika, ebola, etc have always been shoved down our throats as a imminent threat to our existence yet they always fizz out or fail to materialize as the media would portray it would. In fact, I believe (my opinion!) It’s just another fear mongering tactic used by the main stream media and the political elite (who are in bed together) too often in this modern day in age to corral and polarize people to take on measures that are ridiculous. Not to mention the investors of oxitec are Bill & Miranda gates which one poster below ours expose as discussing eugenics in the open. And also invest in Monsanto – which you are against!! This is not a conspiracy. Your turn.

    • Anonymous says:

      2:38 PM, don’t make me come at you and shake you up. There is insufficient evidence on the efficacy of these mosquitos and or their effectiveness. Brazil has some tremendous horror stories of the aftermath of the release of these hybrids. Why don’t you go and volunteer to be tied up in the swamp with these hybrid and the regular mosquitoes and then well have some assurance of either your strong blood or your modified personal genetics.

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem with reality is that people like you 9:53 are asleep. Eyes wide open brain shut

  8. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to the Caymanians and concerned expats who have collectively stood up to this bullying from their government and the shockingly diffident Oxitec.
    Stand strong. If they really need them, they can let them go in their own homes.
    Come back with the data in a few years. Don’t forget to expose your pregnant daughters and your infant children.
    It is good to see people waking up to the injustice of their would-be captors.
    Alden McLaughlin will NEVER be re-elected in the Cayman Islands.

  9. Izan says:

    Someone should start a petition calling for
    1. The compulsory sterilization of any female who has a child out of wedlock;
    2. The compulsory sterilization of any male failing to achieve at least 5 CXC passes

    Just think what that would do for the general level of intellect in the country.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope YOU have been sterilized… the thought that your despicable genes could be passed on to your offspring is repulsive. It ended 2/945

  10. Anonymous says:

    Can we get some genetically modified males here to fix the “problem” of ignorance

  11. Sharkey says:

    Who are in favor of the release of GM MOSQUITOES island wide ,thumbs up , who are not thumbs down .

    • Anonymous says:

      get a life

      • Anonymous says:

        Mozzybots get upset when the people come against them in numbers. Sharkeys 108 dislikes upset you mozzybot?

        • Anonymous says:

          Mozzybots, eh? Thanks for the chuckle.
          This thing is ruffling feathers.
          Gubermint thought we were all asleep. A whole can of whoopass just got opened.

          • Jotnar says:

            Whole can of whoopass? 85 comments on CNS and a few hundred signatures on a petition? Yeah, they will be really scared by that. What next, going to get George to organise a march to the LA?

        • Anonymous says:

          Guess you cannot read. According to the amount of thumbs down it would seem most, by a landslide, are AGAINST, a release of GM mosquitoes! Hahaha da wha ya get!

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess this poll can be interpreted 2 ways:

      1. Thumbs down to the release of the GM mossies. They’re not good and I don’t want to be harmed by them.


      2. Release them only in West Bay. We hate our own people that much that if there’s something wrong with them, West Bay will be the affected and infected state.

  12. Anonymous says:

    There are obviously a lot of questions, are we going to get any answers? My question is what analysis has been done on how this eradication will affect the animals that eat these mosquitos – birds, bats etc. and had any consideration been given to perhaps releasing natural mosquito killers like these birds and bats (native to Cayman of course)?

    • Anonymous says:

      MRCU has been giving very open and honest answers for years, and has answered these questions ad nauseam. We know that Aedes Aegypti, is an invasive species that feeds exclusively on humans. Unlike the nearly 36 other species of mosquito that thrive in swamp conditions and feed mosquito predators, they are not part of any animal’s normal diet. The removal of daytime-biting domesticated Aedes Aegypti will have zero impact on a nocturnal predator’s diet. Their entire life cycle is within easy flight of human habitation – sometimes actually breeding within the home itself. How many bats, birds, and dragonflies do you have flying around in your house or yard during the day? Zero. Can the mosquito plane fog inside your home? Probably not. So, if people are unwilling to clear the breeding habitat in and outside their home, then this is the only workable extermination solution, and it has been proven to work in at least 5 previous peer-reviewed studies which are online. It is clear from many of the comments that there are still people with no knowledge of what an Aedes Aegypti mosquito is, or the unique problem we face. Let’s try to learn and exterminate this serious tropical health menace as soon as possible.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Who the heck fights to be the host of a secretive and unilaterally decided genetically modified biological experiment??

    Those who despise any and every thing about the people that raise objections to said experiment, that’s who – despite sharing the same tiny landmass.

    (I urge those in support of these experiments to write Prince Charles for his thoughts on the genetically modified matter – seeing that our lowly local concerns carry little to no weight.)

    It is amazing how people will stick their own head in the oven just to agitate or distinguish themselves from those they consider unequal.

    – Whodatis

    P.S. Congrats Dwene. At least no one can criticise you of being all talk and no action.
    The government cannot ignore this petition.

  14. Anonymous says:


  15. Sleeping says:

    .03 percent of 3 million GM mosquito will be female. That is 899 females

    “Will their GM DNA be injected into your arm or leg? Oxitec has counteracted this objection by stating they only plan to release male mosquitoes, which don’t bite. This again sounds good in theory… but in reality, sorting millions of insects according to sex is no small feat. And even FKMCD notes that although ‘every effort is made to release only males,’ Oxitec trials show that .03 percent of the mosquitoes released are female.” -Dr. Joseph Mercola

    • Anonymous says:

      Piggybac gene is gender-specific and only applicable to males. Any exposed females, not being males, will simply transit through the sort. There are no transgender mosquitos, and even if there were, they would be unlikely to survive or fly, and even less likely to waste their short fluorescent lifespan finding a human host, attempting a blood meal (they are not equipped to take), fertilize themselves, and somehow fly into your mouth. Yet, this is the misplaced fear.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Bring back all mosquitos, modified or not – they’ll get rid of the damn foreigners!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Understand that Oxitec has MONEY!!!!! Money buys anything and everything in the world today, including information.

    Big Pharma owns diet companies, who own publishing companies who own dieticians…the diet you’re encouraged to take is a marketing tool for the new drug they want to sell you after they wreck your body.

    This is no different. Just a different warfare and with the same goal: money.

    Say not just to illegal drugs but to anything that is modified.

    • Anonymous says:

      Look, if you think the 100% philanthropic Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the main backers of Oxitec research, is conspiring to profiteer from what is already proven science, then call CNN and see how far that gets you. Better yet, read the scientific peer-reviewed research from earlier studies published online and learn about how this targets Aedes Aegypti.

      • Anonymous says:

        The same 100% philanthropic foundation openly discussing methods of population control and reduction? Woe to those that call evil good and good evil.

      • Anonymous says:

        100% philanthropic, buys $500,000 worth of shares in Monsanto.
        100% philanthropic, supports polio vaccines in India known to cause non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (twice as deadly as polio) and doesn’t comment on the 120,000+ cases of NPAFP between 2011 and 2012.

        Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the embodiment of corporatism and pseudoscience.

      • Anonymous says:

        Frank Lucas a cold-blooded murderer who fed his community.

  18. Anonymous says:

    The term ‘mutant mosquitoes’ tells us more about the petitioners understanding than it does about the alleged risks.
    Clearly they have no real grasp of the science or the creature involved. The bug is firing blanks people, it’s not 10′ tall and doing impersonations of McKeeva or Ezzard.
    If they spent more time clearing up the s### in their yards then the need for these creatures would be negated and their paranoid rantings could be left in the bars of WB.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s just what I thought when I read it. Mutant mozzies, talk about putting a spin on it to get everyone to sign their petition. If eveyone had fears like this we would still be dying of smallpox.

      • Anonymous says:

        Clearly you are uneducated. Smallpox was a man made disease created to wipe out mass populations.

        • Jotnar says:

          Gobsmacked at someone who believes smallpox is a man made disease calling anyone uneducated. Small pox has been identified on Egyptian mummies, foe heavens sake. Go then, just for fun – why not educate us uneducated people on the basis for your assertion.

        • Anonymous says:

          You complete moron, smallpox isn’t man made, it was weaponised from nature.
          And we’re uneducated. My god you people need to go back to school then travel further than EE or WB.

    • Anonymous says:

      “If they spent more time clearing up the s### in their yards then the need for these creatures would be negated”

      In other words then, there’s no need for Oxitec and their GMM’s then? Just clean up the backyards, trim trees, etc? I think this is the view of the petitioners also.

      • Anonymous says:

        The point being is that they don’t, because they are so uneducated that living in filth is their ‘lifestyle’ choice. If they didn’t dump their old cars, building rubble and the rest of their crap around their yards, this mosquito wouldn’t proliferate.
        But you can’t teach stupid.

  19. Anonymous says:

    By the looks of it, I’d say that Dwene’s done quite a job gathering information and educating himself! Those who say he doesn’t know what he’s talking about should visit the page

    Maybe if we were looking at the same information as he’s receiving and sharing we’d have a different view of things as well. And be quite educated on the TOPIC instead of judging his knowledge. And I could be mistaken but he seemed to be quite well versed on the topic from the meeting.

    Personally speaking, I’m not up for anything that’s modified…not even cars.

    But we don’t know about standing together. His name got called and that old Cayman jealousy and bad ways kicked in, bruddah.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I’ve read the comments posted thus far (9) and 2 of you have sense. The majority of you are just vindictive, as are most Caymanians to other Caymanians.

    Had Sue written from her $12M condo on 7 Mile Beach she would have been applauded and the government torn down. Instead, you have a backwoods boy who’s concerned about his family, neighbours, countrymen and own well being, so you tear him down and applaud Oxitec.

    As far as other solutions, you’re kidding right? If Dwene doesn’t present you with solutions, simple solutions such as turning water catching/settling containers over, just as MRCU has taught us, you can’t figure out how you can help keep yourselves safe? You’d rather resort to GENETICALLY MODIFIED MOSQUITOES!!!! REALLY????

    Well, please give Oxitec your address and have them glass cage you and your household and you can keep all 22M mosquitos for yourself.

    22,000,000 mosquitos to kill 40,000….yeah, you can keep the surplus in the house with you. I don’t want any.

    • Anonymous says:

      You said it yourself, Bobo is a backwards boy, Sue on the other hand is probably educated and able to understand the science.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your reply is really the true strength of the second sentence: “The majority of you are just vindictive, as are most Caymanians to other Caymanians.”,

        Instead of commending his accomplishment on a “backwoods boy” getting a petition this far, you degraded him to “backwards”, just as proof of vindication.

        You, Caymanians, spend so much time hurting each other and living in apprehension and division because you are afraid of each other’s potential, instead of embracing and enhancing each other.

        You have a foreign entity that no one in this world – not even they themselves – can prove will bring you no harm. One among you seeks the truth and you have attacked him, distracting from the real issue at hand: the evidence that proves the release is safe.

        Instead of advocating for absolute proof from both sides – his that they are lying and theirs that they are telling the truth – you spend your efforts and energies tearing down the efforts of one of your own people trying to find truth for his county and his people.

        Why don’t you all make the same appeal as he has: one for the truth? Or join his petition for the truth? Or be quiet and if it is proven that Oxitec is right you can say “at least he tried”.

        Why do you war among yourselves and against each other while your enemy eats your food and plans your demise?

        Stop destroying each other and helping others to oppress you.

    • Jotnar says:

      Because following MRCU guidelines on removing standing water have worked so well so far, right? And the mossies are becoming immune to the pesticides, so that’s not going to work either. I cannot believe you would rather live with an increased risk of zika, dengue and chikungunya than share the environment with GM mosquitoes which don’t even bite. Questioning un-reasoned opposition is not being vindictive, its being honest – don’t get your panties in a bunch just because you get called on it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Backwoods yes … very appropriate term for him! Thanks for clarifying that for. It sure explains a lot.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Far as I am concern, it should be the mosquitos fighting to stay out of West Bay.

  22. Anonymous says:

    And put three young West Bayers out of work? Great plan Dwene.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re worried about the employment of three young West Bayers while he worries about the plight of the country.

      You’re pretty balanced, yeah. Smh.

      Try getting more of the Oxitec’s out of the country, encourage young people to work wherever they can get a job and stop judging your own people and the employment situation might improve.

      But then if the balance is between 3 people in a district and the well being of the entire 10,000 plus in the district, I can see why you don’t see the larger picture and how Oxitec fits in.

      • Anonymous says:

        No this is all about politics and his hopes of getting elected. His level of ignorance is astounding. What makes him think every decision the government makes needs his approval? Nothing would ever get done if that’s how they operated!

  23. Anonymous says:

    This is just a way to depopulate West Bay by making the men sterile and eventually not able to make children. The powers that be figure no one will care as its West Bay and there is alot of crime so there wont be an outcry. Why not South Sound? Snug Harbour? We all know why. Unfortunatly the effects wont be seen for a generation.

    • Anonymous says:

      If this is true it has my support 1000%. There are too many deadbeat dads in West Bay.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah you’re right West bayers have fathered many children over the years throughout the island including south sound.
        Who yo daddy is

        • Anonymous says:

          That response is exactly why they west bay men should be made sterile.

          Mackeeva keeps encouraging these idiots. Someone in one swoop has potentially found a way to get rid of them all.

    • Anonymous says:

      for your information eventually it will be all island that these mosquitos will be released. They have already been released in East End and now its West Bay’s turn. Don’t worry the rest of the island is to come…

      • Anonymous says:

        I will definitely sign the petition or leave the island even if temporarily. Cayman has the highest rates of cancer. I would like to have children one day.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think you need to look at the real issue here. The dump is poisoning us all, probably the local water is too. All the char from that jerk chicken or pork… seems we have bigger issues than a mozzie release which people really need to study up on the science to see why it will be beneficial.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the effects of the small gene pool are already showing on this island, especially in WB. You don’t seem to worry about diseased turtle meat from your odious ‘farm’, or the choking and cancer causing fumes from your clapped out Honda’s. You’re happy to watch your kids race dirt bikes and the same crappy cars on public roads and kill themselves driving like maniacs. You’re happy to see your old people and poor suffer whilst your rich get richer, you’re happy to eat a diet of fried food and fail to tackle diabetes. You’re happy to go to sea without a radio or life jackets and you are quite content to drink and drive.
      You are totally happy with your youths appalling attitude to work, education, foreigners in fact anything that doesn’t allow them to be responsible members of society.
      The list just goes on and on.
      When will you get your priorities right, when will you learn to understand that there’s a big world out there and it’s leaving you behind.
      The last thing you should worry about is infertility through GM mosquitoes. The way many of you behave its STD’s, drinking, drug abuse and gun crime you should worry about, because they are far more dangerous to your libido.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Can someone please set up a poll to see how many people are in favor of this or a petition to not stop the release of the GM mosquitoes?

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m in favor of it and to be honest I don’t see a single one of Dwene’s supporters giving any alternative viable solutions for stop these disease carrying mosquitos. What’s better – the pesticides that are currently killing us with cancers?

  25. Unison says:

    We are being made subjects of experimentation. We are between rival scientists who are trying to be the first ones to get their fame over the zika virus and othe mosquitoe viruses. Question: Why can’t they do their experimentations somewhere else??? It seems the Cayman Islands Government is content with it, or they are so caught up with other matters. Listen folks … Are we so laid back that we will allow a group of scientists to use us like guinea pigs for their profiteering endeavors, and don’t at least start an inquiry into the matter??? :/

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d bet you have only read snippets from the various news articles. You do not know the ins and outs of this and you definitely don’t know/understand the science behind it.

    • MasterMason says:

      Unconstitutional ! Via section 18 of The Constitution of The Cayman Islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        Section 18 also specifies that government shall “have due regard to the need to foster and protect an environment that is not harmful to the health or well-bwing of present and future generations,”

        Protecting the health or well being of present and future generations requires the government to fight disease transmitting mosquitoes that are an invasive species and not a part of “the heritage and wildlife and the land and sea biodiversity of the Cayman Islands.”

        • Unconstitutional says:

          Under the constitution the government must protect the heritage and biodiversity of Cayman.

          SO we are introducing to our “biodiversity” the GENETICALLY MODIFIED mosquitos can you explain how these became part of “the heritage and wildlife and the land and sea biodiversity of the Cayman Islands.”

          • Jotnar says:

            The Aedes Egyptii is an invasive species. It is a bit like introducing genetically modified green iguanas. Makes no difference to the current situation in terms of existing species, and if successful eradicates an invasive one.

            • Anonymous says:

              Explain, what if un-successful dummy? You pro mozzybots are outnumbered. Cayman do not want it.

            • Steven Burke says:

              Risks of releasing a non-native strain

              Oxitec’s GM mosquitoes have been developed from a non-native strain of the invasive species Aedes aegypti. Oxitec’s OX513A strain was developed using strains of Aedes aegypti which originated in Mexico and Cuba, rather than in Florida. As described in Oxitec’s draft Environmental Assessment (pages 21 and 22), the GM strain OX513A was produced in 2002 by microinjection into individual embryos of Aedes aegypti from a Rockefeller strain background. The strain was made homozygous by repeated back‐crossing and then the insert was introgressed into an Ae.aegypti Latin strain background from Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica (INSP), Mexico. The Rockefeller strain is a common laboratory strain of Aedes
              aegypti, which appears to have been derived from a strain established in Havana, Cuba, by Carlos J. Finlay in 1881, used in the original experiments which established that Aedes
              aegypti mosquitoes are a vector for Yellow Fever.22,23

              Different strains of Aedes aegypti will have different properties including differences in resistance to insecticides and in vector competence (the ability to transmit tropical diseases).
              These properties can be transferred to the wild mosquito population through mating and may persist in the wild population, even if the GM mosquitoes themselves die out. It is therefore risky to a release a non-native strain and very important to know its properties, especially its disease transmission properties and resistance to insecticides

              22 Kuno G (2010) Early History of Laboratory Breeding of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) Focusing on the Origins and Use of Selected Strains. Journal of Medical Entomology, 47(6), 957-971.

              23 Yellow Fever and the Reed Commission 1898-1901. University of Virginia Claude Moore Health Sciences Library. Historical Collection.

              • Anonymous says:

                Now you’re worried that the new strain of mosquitoes might, in some way, be ‘worse’ than the current strain. (Quoting from, I assume, the Florida consideration on Oxitec release there.) Leaving aside the equal probability that this strain would have been ‘better’ in some way we know they are better in one. Its property is to die out.

      • Anonymous says:

        And I’m so sure you’re a lawyer!

  26. Anonymous says:

    The petitioners do not know what they are talking about.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seems like they do. Now they’re challenging whether government had the right to even make the deal.

      Can’t help but feel they know alot more about what they’re talking about than what you know about them. Maybe you should play a game of “catch up” instead of “throwing”.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Grow up people, because unless you’re planning to eat these GM critters there cannot possibly be a risk. Sterile Mozzies aren’t your priority, it’s your over fertile and under educated youth that you should concern yourselves with. Try writing a petition calling for mandatory sex education, sexual responsibility, parental responsibility and the end of a self entitlement culture. Then write another one calling for an effective RCIPS, pension policy and realistic immigration laws.
    The possibilities are endless, expand your horizons not your ignorance.

    • Steven Burke says:

      Journalists have reported that in Brazil “…it’s impossible to talk during the liberation sessions without accidentally swallowing a few…” due to the very large numbers of GM mosquitoes released to try to swamp the wild population (at ratios of up to 54 to 1[1]).[2] In the Cayman Islands, Oxitec reported: “The only consistent project-related criticism from the community related to nuisance from the large numbers of males in each individual release in the first part of Period 3. In response we promptly reduced these numbers and moved the release points further from habitations. We also partly substituted with pupal releases, from which adults emerge over a period of time”.[3] Therefore, it is clear that there is the potential for humans or animals, including pets, to swallow adult GM mosquitoes when they are released: indeed the likelihood of this is high. In addition, GM mosquito larvae will hatch in breeding sites which may include water available for consumption by birds or pets, so GM larvae may also be ingested by animals. In some species, exposures may be high because GM mosquitoes (largely adult males) will be released in very large numbers (several orders of magnitude higher than the numbers of wild males) in order to seek to suppress the wild population.

      Signs of toxicity[4] and neurotoxicity[5] have been reported in mice expressing the tTAV protein, yet this evidence of risk has been dismissed by Oxitec in favour of reliance on a single bioinformatics report produced by an industry consultant. Feeding studies are reported for predator mosquitoes (known as Toxorhynchites)
      6 and one species of fish (the guppy, Poecilia reticulate, Appendix E of Oxitec’s draft Environmental Assessment), yet no feeding studies have been reported in mammals, amphibians, reptiles, crustacea or birds, which might consume the GM mosquitoes when they are released into the environment. In addition to trials with relevant wild species, feeding trials should also have been conducted with the mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis, which is used in the Florida Keys as a larvicide in permanent water bodies such as cisterns, abandoned pools, and ornamental ponds. Importantly, human safety seems to have been given a very low priority, as feeding studies in laboratory rats, normally part of a risk assessment for human health, have also been omitted.

      1 PAT (2012) Transgenic Aedes Project Progress Report, Feb 2011-Mar 2012.
      2 Dengue, where is thy sting? LA Times. 1st November 2012.
      3 Harris AF, McKemey AR, Nimmo D, Curtis Z, Black I, Morgan SA, … Alphey L (2012) Successful suppression of a field mosquito population by sustained release of engineered male mosquitoes. Nature Biotechnology, 30(9), 828–830. Supplementary material.
      4 Whitsett JA, Perl A-KT. Conditional Control of Gene Expression in the Respiratory Epithelium: A Cautionary Note. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. 34(5):519–520.
      5 Han HJ, Allen CC, Buchovecky CM, et al. (2012) Strain background influences neurotoxicity and behavioral abnormalities in mice expressing the tetracycline transactivator. J Neurosci. 32(31):10574–10586. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0893-12.2012

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