Oxitec not ruled out by MRCU

| 03/09/2018 | 6 Comments

(CNS): The director of the Mosquito Research and Control Unit has said that the absence of anyone from Oxitec on its new technical advisory board does not mean that the unit has ruled out the continuing use of the the genetically modified bugs as part of the new eradication goal for the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Jim McNelly said the plan has not yet been formulated for how the invasive pest will be eliminated. “At this time it is premature to single out any one formulation, product, application method or tactic and identify it as part of the plan,” the director said as he explained the absence of the company from the release this week about the new advisory board.

“We work with a variety of industry ‘partners’ to evaluate their products, as we are doing with Oxitec’s product,” Mcnelly stated. “One such partner is on island this week and we are evaluating their formulation for aerial work. We have had at least three other industry partners on island to collaboratively evaluate their formulations for potential inclusion within our Integrated Mosquito Management programme in the past several months; they have not been asked to participate on our Board.”

He added that Oxitec was no exception and the absence of any representative from that company should not be construed in any particular light or context or the efficacy of the work the firm has already done. “Their absence is not a reflection on the results of the ongoing project,” the mosquito boss said.

In a short release earlier in the week the MRCU announced the creation of a board of experts to thrash out a plan to actually eradicate the invasive and dangerous mosquito. But despite having worked with Oxitec and their controversial GM bugs the MRCU made no mention of the current status and plans regarding that technology. It appears that government however is no longer seeing the sterile male bugs dubbed ‘friendly’ by the bio-technology firm and which have been released, despite local protests, in the West Bay area.

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Comments (6)

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  1. JG says:

    I say continue with the GM mosquito. People will always complain about any method used. If its pesticide, genetically modified mosquitos, the mosquito plane. If you stop all of these they will complain that theyre getting bitten and nothings being done. This what happens when you listen to stubborn and uneducated people. They dont want a genetically modified mosquito but they will eat genetically modified food and okay with it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think they did great with all the ignorance surrounding them. Zika came and went and I just want a bigger study to be done and released so we can see the actual results.

    • Anonymous says:

      What did Oxitec and GMMs have to do with Zika ‘coming and going’? The Zika virus was reported in 31 Countries in 2015/16. Only Cayman and Brazil released the Oxitec GMMs.

      Of the 44,431 pregnant women who contracted Zika, 2,393 gave birth to a child with microcephaly/CNS and of those, 2,159 were located in Brazil.
      (Data from the Pan American Health Organisation, Feb 2017).

  3. Anonymous says:

    I didnt choose bug life, bug life chose me.

  4. COMBINE the EFFORTS says:

    Can not government combine the efforts of controlling our pests with science?

    Like a department for controlling mosquitoes, lion fish, iguanas, et cetera … and the science that can be used to control them.

    Just an idea. Maybe our MLAs can look into this idea. Because I think we spend more monies when we do separate programs. Just saying.

    • Anonymous says:

      There’s a reason why immigration, customs, planning, lands and survey, rcips, etc are all separated.

      Don’t group welders with chefs, and plumbers with mechanics. All specialized.

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