British-based biotech company Oxitec has been given FDA approval to release genetically modified mosquitoes all throughout South Florida as a way to fight Zika. The mosquitoes are known by the code, OX513A, are supposed to neutralize Aedes aegypti versions of mosquitoes, which are allegedly responsible for carrying and transmitting Zika.
“Oxitec is responsible for ensuring all other local, state, and federal requirements are met before conducting the proposed field trail, and together with its local partners, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, to determine whether and when to begin the proposed field trail in Key Haven, Florida,” stated the FDA.
— RT (@RT_com) August 6, 2016
The field trials performed on Grand Cayman were supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, starting in 2009. Approximately 3.3 million of the transgenic male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were released. Some 11 weeks after the release, an 80 percent decline in the Aedes aegypti mosquito population was observed.
Now here’s the issue: No one has even proven that these mosquitoes are transmitting Zika in South Florida, or anywhere in the United States. No trapped mosquitoes have shown a positive test for Zika. But let’s not allow common sense to stop us from dumping pesticides from the skies above and releasing laboratory mosquitoes all throughout the land. What could possibly go wrong? GMO mosquitoes are an obvious risk to the ecosystem. In fact, residents in the Florida Keys fought off Oxitec to the tune of 168,000 people signing THIS petition.
In Canada, where they aren’t attempting to spin this into a disaster, a Zika baby has reportedly been born normal, according to CBC.