Judge rejects anti-GM mozzie application

| 25/07/2016 | 71 Comments
Cayman News Service

Oxitec’s genetically modified mosquitoes

(CNS): Justice Ingrid Mangatal has rejected the application by local activists to overturn a decision of the National Conservation Council regarding the controversial release of millions of genetically engineered mosquitoes in West Bay. However, this does not mean the bio-engineered bugs will be released in the Cayman Islands just yet. In the absence of her written ruling setting out the basis for her decision, the attorneys representing the applicants asked for a further stay to give them a chance to appeal her decision once they see the ruling.

At the judicial review on Monday morning, the judge agreed to a further 24-hour stay until she presents her decision in writing on Tuesday afternoon, when the applicants’ legal team is expected to begin a formal appeal process and a further stay application.

Although Justice Mangatal did not give any details, she said that after considering all of the matters and the role of the court, none of the grounds on which the application had been based had been made out.

Local activists had filed the legal action to have the NCC decision overturned and to prevent the release because they believed that it was flawed and unlawful. The group claimed that there was an inadequate public consultation process, that the NCC failed to carry out an independent assessment as the decision was based purely on information coming from Oxitec, the company that produces the GM mosquitoes, and that the project was putting the community and environment at risk.

Following the short hearing, Dr Bill Petrie, the head of the Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) said, “Naturally, we are pleased that the judicial review has been essentially refused and the grounds not made out, however there is another stay until 26 July and there is notice of an appeal, so really we have to wait and see what happens tomorrow.”

Petrie said the concern now was that the current weather conditions were ideal breeding for the Aedes aegypti and the longer the GM release is halted, the more pressing the public health issue becomes.

As the case was adjourned, neither party mentioned costs in the case.

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Category: environmental health, Health, health and safety

Comments (71)

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  1. Foreign devil says:

    Release the hounds!




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  2. Anonymous says:

    I hope Dwene and his cohort will also seek JR and bring an end to the sale of genetically modified foods and food products that use GM ingredients.

    They should also seek to stop imports of fuel as I gather they and exhaust gases are carcinogens.

    When will they be JR-ing FLOW and Digicel’s cellular operations? Those too are potential carcinogens.

    We should be so grateful that they are so astutely looking out for our interests.

    PS Does anyone know who weaves non-GMO grass skirts I can wear in my cave….




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    • Anonymous says:

      26/07/2016 at 12:38 pm
      You are confusing purchasing GM food, fuel , etc on your own accord with imposing GM experiment on you. You have control over the former and no control over the latter.




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      • Anonymous says:

        You may have control over whether you wear you seat belt in a car or a crash helmet when on a bike but we all pay for your injuries when you don’t through higher medical and insurance costs.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Does that mean that because I am worried about carcinogenic emissions from cars that I have the right to insist everybody rides a bike?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Do you realise how foolish you sound?




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  3. Anonymous says:

    The justice Ingrid Mangatal” rejection of the application by local activists reminds me Monsanto protection act.




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Having vectored all pertinent information along the accurate genetic framework based on the double-helix structure of DNA and organic inter-junctions of the disparate multiverse, I can see the wisdom of releasing genetically-modified mosquitoes upon the ignorant people of the Cayman Islands.
    The conclusion is we make a load of cash. No more hold ups please. Ignore those nuisance indigenous indigents.




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  5. A visitor says:

    Twyla Vargas has recommended that WestBayers buy a fogging truck and hope it can kill GM Mosquitoes. It might kill mosquitoes, but genetic material of bacterias and viruses integrated together can be only destroyed by burning. Bacterias and viruses can sit in the environment for thousand years, until the timing and conditions are ripe for creating something “new”, something you least expect. It would creep on you slowly or be dramatic. Come from the land or sea. Only time would tell.
    Only a mad scientist would mess with the genes of bacterias and viruses. Both are extremely potent in nature and very hard, sometime impossible to kill once they invade a human body.
    In my opinion of a lay person it is like reinforcing concrete with iron, make both, e-coli bacteria and herpes virus stronger. What happens as a result of this experiment is anyone’s guess.
    You need a divine intervention to stop this madness. Your judicial system that exists to protect you has failed. Your leaders have failed you.




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    • Anonymous says:

      And, to use your analogy, a pile of iron reinforcing rods (selected E. coli. genes) and a pile of cement bags (selected herpes genes) do not a reinforced brick wall make. Even mixing the raw materials together doesn’t make anything stronger than the sum of its parts. Just as these mosquitoes are not spreading herpes and E. coli just because they have some of the genes in them. Considering that there are more ‘monkey’ genes in a human (percentage-wise) than non-mosquito genes in the Oxitec mosquitoes if your analogy/fear was correct ~90% of human babies would be hairy apes.




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      • Anonymous says:

        26/07/2016 at 9:37 am
        the lethal potency of e.coli bacteria is a common knowledge. While herpes virus doesn’t kill, to my knowledge, the integrations of the DNA fragments of both in the mosquitoes bodies is what it is- an experiment on the island surrounded by water.
        What the DNA fragments of E.coli and Herpes would do in the bodies of birds, rodents, fish and other critters that ingest GM mosquitoes is anyone’s guess. That is why they call it an experiment. Lets do it and see what happens.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Do you think our leaders give a toss about us? They care about themselves and money.




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    • Anonymous says:

      If god didn’t want this to happen wouldn’t he already have stopped it?




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      • Anonymous says:

        Like the Holocaust? There is a lot of shit that God did not want to happen, but when people are given free will, all hell can break loose.

        If you need an answer, there is no need to look further than ourselves. God is 100% available. The trouble is that no one bothers to call His number.
        We made this shit, stop blaming others.




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  6. A visitor says:

    Oh, dear! I love this tiny speck of land called The Cayman Islands. You are the luckiest people on the planet to live here even with all your problems which fade away once you turn your TV on. God given jewel surrounded by turquoise waters. A true wonder of nature. And what do you do with its natural beauty and Ecobalance? You use and abuse it, you have been profoundly changing the environment on land and in the sea. And for what????? Ask yourself why do you do it???? For an extra $ in you pocket? Why do you need to fight an illusionary enemy, to fight windmills?
    Why not to cherish and preserve what you have and be grateful for being born in such a beautiful place? Haiti is not too far, yet you were born here, you live here. Should not you be grateful?
    Your leaders are nearsighted fools that never heard of the word SUSTAINABILITY. Future generations of this country will condemn your decisions if you don’t wake up NOW.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    “So Cayman is going after the wrong species!”

    A bit premature,

    The Aedes Egypti mosquito is still recognised as the “primary vector”, which doesn’t mean that there are not other transmission modes (such as sexual transmission). Aedes aegypti is also the vector of Dengue, Chikungunya and Yellow Fever,

    I went to a public lecture by Dr Petrie. As I remember, he did not discuss each mosquito species as the “only” means of disease transmission, or not, but if they were an “efficient” transmitter, suggesting that other species can transmit the disease, though of less public concern.

    I have received a thinly veiled threat for posting on this forum about what I perceive, as a scientist, to be the truth. “We know who you are, stay out of other people’s business” or something close to that. CNS removed the post and also my post expressing surprise that CNS allowed the threat to be posted. Rest assured that I will not keep quiet,

    Truthseeker

    CNS: Just to clarify, I have a policy of deleting comments that include threats. I just missed that one.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Sit down outside about 7pm to 8pm nd think about it then. Might wana give it a try, just feels a little worst that zika is around, after it goes away getting bitten will just be fun again.




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  9. Venus says:

    Can they do the flies next before I lose my damn mind?




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  10. Anonymous says:

    Zika has been found in a more common mosquito in Brazil. So Cayman is going after the wrong species! See link http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/zika-virus-found-in-second-mosquito-species-is-very-bad-news-for-brazil/article31070755/




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    • Anonymous says:

      Not yet confirmed but it’s confirmed in the AG mosquitos.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I bet that’s the mutated oxitec mosquitoes. We are being experimented on and our government is making these people do this to us. This is really bad.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    One has to wonder where the money to finance this foolishness is coming from! Serious thing.




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  12. Anonymous says:

    They want to make this look like a conspiracy theory. They don’t want people to know that it was predicted. They don’t want people to know that the person who predicted it was captain of his high school biology team, has a Yale degree, and quoted actual scientific studies as opposed to a random map.

    They admit that the “population of disease-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquitoes crashed by more than 90%” during an Oxitec trial, but does not even bother to ask what happened to the 10% that survived. Do they merely stay within a few hundred meters from where they were released at post-population-crash levels?

    Of course not! The population quickly bounces back and spreads and the gene insertion becomes a hallmark of the entire population.

    Now Oxitec has another modified mosquito ready to take down Zika, and the nearby mosquito population will most likely crash to 10% again, but then that population will bounce back with two artificial genetic insertions and the infinite probabilities for increased disease-transmission that it brings.

    By the time Oxitec is ready to release the next gene to tackle the next virus outbreak, the great-great-great-great-great grandson of a transgenic mosquito — the one in a million mosquito that managed to reproduce — will be spreading viruses in unpredictable ways.

    Did Oxitec conduct any studies to determine how a gene insertion might increase a mosquito’s ability to spread viruses? Did Oxitec conduct any studies to determine how the few mosquitoes that manage to reproduce affect an entire population’s ability to carry diseases?

    Oxitec released a monster without conducting any real studies. Oxitec even admits in their own studies that their mosquitoes can reproduce at rates of 15% in the wild. There is 0 denying that many generations have passed since Oxitec first released thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes that were able to reproduce [they released millions of sterile ones.]




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    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Eden we need your input here.
      Transgenic mosquitoes are immoral and I’m sure there is a passage in the bible against them.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The remaining 10% are from matings of wild type males and wild type females. Matings of the GM males and wild type females do not survive to maturity and thus the gene modification does not spread in the population.

      The Oxitec process is a type of Sterile Male technique. Sterile Male control has been done by other means for many decades. The difference is that the Oxitece mozzies are genetically modified rather that just irradiated in order to achieve the desired result.

      And the tetracycline dependent mechanism with a lethal dominant gene has also been in use for decades in laboratory organisms.

      What is unique about Oxitec is the insertion of the tetracycline dependence mechanism with a lethal dominant gene into mosquitoes in order to implement a Sterile Male control.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I am not a mechanic; therefore I would not try to tell one how to fix my car
      I am not a dentist; I would not tell someone who was how to perform a root canal.
      I am not an accountant in a bank; I would not tell one how to prevent a global economic meltdown (that might have been a bad example).
      I don’t work in a dry cleaners so I wouldn’t tell someone who did how to clean my dress.
      Why do these unqualified people think they know better than the experts in this field.
      Let them do their job.
      This is not a political issue it is to do with public health. If you want to attack politicians find another topic; there are plenty.
      If you are from another country and threaten to leave if the GM mosquito is released then please leave; both you and Cayman will be happier.
      If you are looking for a topic to win an election look elsewhere there are plenty of causes you can fight for.
      If you want to campaign against something please do so; just make sure you know your facts and don’t waste the money of the people of the Cayman islands.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    Give the study a try




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  14. Anonymous says:

    Quite clearly Britannia is full of sinners at the moment as we have a biblical plague of mozzies in therefore. I had 15 bites from taking the dog out this morning. These were the biggest things I have ever seen. Literally drawing blood. Just let the GM mozzies loose and perhaps I might have more pleasant dog walking!




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  15. Anonymous says:

    I hope the activists have to pay for all this foolishness.




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  16. Anonymous says:

    Jurassic Park here we come, CIG obviously planning on a new touristic attraction.




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    • Anonymous says:

      excellent work by our civil servants and the crown counsels- so many great things happening in the civil service.

      Dweyne give up,,,, you are starting to sound like the women who tried to stop the west bay road.




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    • Anonymous says:

      25/07/2016 at 1:28 pm
      LOL, a good one




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  17. Anonymous says:

    I’m suing those anti people if I get Zika. They’re like those annoying antivaxxers.




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    • Anonymous says:

      You are a complete idiot. If you want to put your faith in vaccines, then that is great. So you are vaccinated, what is your problem? Aren’t you now immune?
      So let the poor bastards who decide not to get vaccinated die in peace.
      Leave us alone, please. Get your jabs and be quiet.




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    • Anonymous says:

      1:04 pm
      Don’t force your beliefs on me. I will take my chances. Someone had said that death is an orgasmic experience, so please stop frightening me with death from not being vaccinated.




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  18. Smallie says:

    The good Lord gave us Zika for a reason and we must welcome it with open arms.




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    • Anonymous says:

      @12:38 pm

      on the subject of God and Zika.

      Here comes Mark Twain again (Letter VII):

      Take the “Sleeping Sickness,” of Africa. This atrocious cruelty has for its victims a race of ignorant and unoffending blacks whom God placed in a remote wilderness, and bent his parental Eye upon them — the one that never sleeps when there is a chance to breed sorrow for somebody. He arranged for these people before the Flood. The chosen agent was a fly, related to the tsetse; the tsetse is a fly which has command of the Zambezi country and stings cattle and horses to death, thus rendering that region uninhabitable by man. The tsetse’s awful relative deposits a microbe which produces the Sleeping Sickness. Ham was full of these microbes, and when the voyage was over he discharged them in Africa and the havoc began, never to find amelioration until six thousand years should go by and science should pry into the mystery and hunt out the cause of the disease. The pious nations are now thanking God, and praising him for coming to the rescue of his poor blacks. The pulpit says the praise is due to him. He is surely a curious Being. He commits a fearful crime, continues that crime unbroken for six thousand years, and is then entitled to praise because he suggests to somebody else to modify its severities. He is called patient, and he certainly must be patient, or he would have sunk the pulpit in perdition ages ago for the ghastly compliments it pays him.
      Science has this to say about the Sleeping Sickness, otherwise called the Negro Lethargy:
      It is characterized by periods of sleep recurring at intervals. The disease lasts from four months to four years, and is always fatal. The victim appears at first languid, weak, pallid, and stupid. His eyelids become puffy, an eruption appears on his skin. He falls asleep while talking, eating, or working. As the disease progresses he is fed with difficulty and becomes much emaciated. The failure of nutrition and the appearance of bedsores are followed by convulsions and death. Some patients become insane.

      It is he whom Church and people call Our Father in Heaven who has invented the fly and sent him to inflict this dreary long misery and melancholy and wretchedness, and decay of body and mind, upon a poor savage who has done that Great Criminal no harm. There isn’t a man in the world who doesn’t pity that poor black sufferer, and there isn’t a man that wouldn’t make him whole if he could. To find the one person who has no pity for him you must go to heaven; to find the one person who is able to heal him and couldn’t be persuaded to do it, you must go to the same place. There is only one father cruel enough to afflict his child with that horrible disease — only one. Not all the eternities can produce another one.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think the Good Lord requires a laboratory to screw us over.




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  19. Anonymous says:

    Anyone know where I can get a pallet of mosquito repellent for them West Bayers…




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  20. Anonymous says:

    Now, it’s time to protest the next road, dock, airport, and ban diving, fishing, drinking, eating meat or exhaling carbon dioxide.




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  21. Anonymous says:

    Release the Kraken!




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  22. Anonymous says:

    Who saw that coming? Lol. It was a done deal from the beginning. Let’s see how these mozzies like 65 ft waves?




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