Attend the Expert Panel

BIOLOGIST:  Dr. Helen Wallace, and Director of GeneWatch UK

“The benefits of releasing billions of genetically engineered mosquitoes into the environment has been exaggerated and the risks have been downplayed. The results of its main experiments to date, conducted in Brazil, have not been published. Results from trials in the Cayman Islands show limited success. Computer modelling of the findings shows that 2.8 million genetically engineered adult male mosquitoes would need to be released per week to suppress a wild population of only 20,000 mosquitoes: impractical on any scale.”

“Oxitec uses tetracycline as a chemical switch for the genetic killing mechanism in its genetically engineered mosquitoes. Survival rates of next-generation genetically engineered mosquitoes increase from 3 percent up to 18 percent when fed on industrially farmed meat, which is contaminated with the common antibiotic tetracycline.

Tetracycline will be present in release areas in discarded takeaways, pet food and in some mosquito breeding sites such as septic tanks. The use of tetracycline to feed genetically engineered mosquitoes in Oxitec’s mosquito factory risks spreading antibiotic resistant bacteria into the environment, posing a risk to human health. The non-veterinary use of tetracycline is being phased out in the United States and is already banned in many countries.

The regulatory process being followed by the Food and Drug Administration remains unclear. Company press releases should not replace the need for detailed evidence and public consultation on the risk assessment.” (6)

Are you worried about the environmental effects of GM mosquitoes?  Then you may want to construct the action plan Option 1.

 

PRESIDENT of Global Virus Network (GVN): Jose Esparanza, Md, PhD

“Zika virus is being actively transmitted in 29 countries and one US territory, and the numbers will continue to grow,” said Dr. Esparza. “A global response is imperative. International collaborations and shared information is key to addressing the Zika virus outbreak. The GVN Zika Task Force fulfills this by strengthening GVN’s internal and external strategic alliances involved in the urgent response to this global public health emergency.”

Do you believe that a Zika task force and informational campaign is the best action plan? Then you may want to construct the action plan Option 2.

 

OXITEC FOUNDER:  Luke Alphey

Oxitec scientific research on mosquitos

“Zika virus is being actively transmitted in 29 countries and one US territory, and the numbers will continue to grow,” said Dr. Esparza. “A global response is imperative. International collaborations and shared information is key to addressing the Zika virus outbreak. The GVN Zika Task Force fulfills this by strengthening GVN’s internal and external strategic alliances involved in the urgent response to this global public health emergency.”“Firstly using modified insects to try to reduce the number of pest insects in a population, so populations suppression, which really is the same goal as people have attempted to achieve by environmental management e.g. insecticide spraying. This is the same kind of thing, to have fewer mosquitoes so there are less insects biting and less transmission. But genetic methods have the possibility of being much more specific and targeted and environmentally friendly.” (5)

Luke Alphey also believes that previous effective community trials show that GM mosquitoes will be effective in Key West.  He also believes that the environmental imprint will be minimal, not only because of the FDA report but also because the Aedes aegypti is already a non-native, invasive species to the Americas.

Do you believe that eradication through GM mosquitoes is the best action plan? Then you may want to construct the action plan Option 3.

 

ENTOMOLOGIST:  Phil Lounibos

“I think the science is fine, they definitely can kill mosquitoes, but the GMO issue still sticks as something of a thorny issue for the general public,” said Phil Lounibos, who studies mosquito control at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory. “It’s not even so much about the science – you can’t go ahead with something like this if public opinion is negative.”

“What Oxitec is trying to spin is that it’s highly improbable that there will be negative consequences of this foreign DNA entering someone that’s bitten by an Oxitec mosquito,” said Lounibos. “I’m on their side, in that consequences are highly unlikely. But to say that there’s no genetically modified DNA that might get into a human, that’s kind of a gray matter.” (7)

Do you believe that eradication through GM mosquitoes is the best action plan? Then you may want to construct the action plan Option 3.

 

COORDINATOR of the Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health group at the World Health Organization: Bruce Gordon

“Pyriproxyfen (a pesticide) actually mimics a hormone found in invertebrates, so it basically interferes with their development, but mammals don’t have that development process,” Gordon says. “There’s absolutely no concern for reproductive effects that have been raised for this chemical.”

“It’s miles below the sort of acceptable recommended doses or the maximum doses you would apply,” Gordon says. “You’d have to drink hundreds of liters of water to get to anywhere near potentially risky level.”

 

Do you believe that eradication through pesticides is the best action plan? Then you may want to construct the action plan Option 4.

 

MOSCAMED DIRECTOR: Jair Virginio

Picture2

“Moscamed has long experience in applying SIT to fight insect pests, and was one of the first facilities to mass rear sterilized mosquitos in the world,” said Moscamed Director Jair Virginio. “The irradiator would allow our facility to produce up to 12 million sterilized male Aedes aegypti mosquitos per week, reaching up to 750,000 people in 15 municipalities in the Brazilian states of Bahia and Pernambuco, which have been particularly hard-hit by Zika.”

Do you believe that eradication through irradiation is the best action plan? Then you may want to construct the action plan Option 5.

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