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Florida Keys Opposition Stalls Tests Of Genetically Altered Mosquitoes

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posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 11:24 AM
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Recently the Zika virus has hit the public awareness due to a variety of factors. As part of the effort to combat the Zika virus, genetically modified mosquitoes are being considered:


The fight against the Zika virus has a new weapon: the genetically engineered mosquito. It's recently been approved by federal regulators and may soon be available in parts of the U.S. that are confronting the virus, like Puerto Rico and Miami.

The Florida Keys do not have a Zika problem at the moment, but on Aug. 5 the Food and Drug Administration approved trial releases of these mosquitoes in the Keys.

But because of the vocal opposition of people there, the local mosquito control board hasn't yet approved the trials, instead putting it on the November ballot as a nonbinding referendum.


Residents in that area have long fought against the release of the GM mosquitoes, but now that fight might be coming to an end. This was discussed in a thread back in December of 2011.

Friday, it was declared a public health emergency in Puerto Rico:


The Obama administration on Friday declared a public health emergency in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, saying the rapid and widespread transmission of the Zika virus threatens the health of infected pregnant women and their babies.


All of this has a rotten smell to it to me. Is anyone else detecting an odd aroma around Zika?

Maybe we should revisit the company responsible for the GM mosquitoes?

Oxitec:


In June 2005, Oxitec was awarded US$4.8m as part of an international consortium within the Grand Challenges for Global Health initiative, led by the Gates Foundation (in partnership with the Wellcome Trust, US Foundation for National Institutes of Health and Canadian Institutes for Health Research).


Oxitec’s genetically-modified mosquitoes: in the public interest? (direct .pdf link)

What says ATS?




posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 11:34 AM
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a reply to: jadedANDcynical

Gates foundation? Say no more

I heard that and my antennas went up (no, that's not a euphemism)


I'm opposed to releasing GM mosquitos into the wild



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 11:57 AM
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a reply to: jadedANDcynical

Had to work to find where to what it actually does:


Oxitec uses advanced genetics to insert a self-limiting gene into its mosquitoes. The gene is passed on to the insect’s offspring, so when male Oxitec engineered mosquitoes are released into the wild and mate with wild females, their offspring inherit the self-limiting trait. The resulting offspring will die before reaching adulthood, and the local mosquito population will decline. www.oxitec.com...


Sounds like an actually real way to defeat mosquito's, the #1 human killer in the entire animal kingdom.



edit on 17-8-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 12:02 PM
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a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

I think this is from the recent trials:


A public/private partnership (Gates/Oxitec) developed a different transgenic Ae. aegypti strain (OX36404C) in which only the females die (fsRIDL) when tetracycline is removed from their larval diet [67]. Such a strain could be more effective than one in which both sexes die. Although indoor large-cage trials were successful [68], results from an outdoor field-cage trial in Mexico were disappointing [69]. Lowered mating competitiveness of transgenic males was onecause of the failure of that trial. It is possible that new strains with this female-killing transgenic construct may have better performance. Detailed population dynamics models indicate that mosquito suppression with this female-killing technique may be problematic in heterogeneous city settings and that attention must be paid to developing effective male release methods [70]. Some researchers also question the feasibility of RIDL for large cities or large geographic areas due to logistic challenges of delivery and concerns about cost. The developers, however, argue that these obstacles can be overcome.


A Critical Assessment of Vector Control for Dengue Prevention - Plos(direct .pdf link)

It seems like it's not quite as effective as they had hoped, but they will continue to work in this direction.

The Gates Foundation has put multiple millions of dollars in to this company. Other than the $4.8 million I posted about, I've seen other grants; one was $10.1 million and another was $20 million.



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 12:07 PM
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Sure , it sounds all fine and dandy .....but......I live in the lower Florida keys and everyone down here ( that I have spoken with ) are against the release of the GMO mosquitos. Key haven residents where they will be released do not want to be a Guinea pig for oxytec....there so much more to this .......they do not test the GMO eggs before they hatch ,as they raise and relapse them, to see if they have Zika or other diseases, ...they do not have any long term studies with effect to other wildlife or humans, children , or pregnant women....they can not guarantee releasing only males into civilization as their disclaimer is that 10% females will slip through and be released...( about 100,000 females) , ....they do not have any studies in what happens to children or pregnant women bit by FEMALE GMO Mosquitos.....they can not guarantee keeping mosquitos quarantine to the key haven as a storm can carry them away, or one can get in your car and be released when you stop somewhere else....the GMO mosquitos are infused with herpes simplex and other crap that they have no studies on long term effects....and the GMO mosquitos are bathed in tetracycline before being released, carrying it on their wings and body, that can causes Mersa and other diseases to be resistant and allow that to spread . ...oxytec only has an 8 million dollar liability fund..... The only person benefitting from this is the company oxytec and whom ever is making money on the side ....it's getting ugly down here , and people are upset .
edit on 17-8-2016 by Meldionne1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 12:08 PM
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a reply to: jadedANDcynical

Malaria etc are major problems. Seeing Gates fund stuff that doesn't require injecting people with mercury ought to be good news. Not everything such a group does has to be sinister.

With a little luck the gene might spread over into human ear&eye targeting gnats & no-see-um's.

edit on 17-8-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 12:14 PM
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a reply to: Meldionne1

Like with GMO veggie's, it all comes down to chemistry.

Unless there's some new protein or something being synthesized and stored inside a GMO tomato, then there's really not much to be discussed. It's nutrient content will have more to do with how its grown. Even if it ended up with less anyways that doesn't make it 'poisonous'.

Next we have the mosquito. Unless its injecting some chemical into humans, or unless their gene does something 'bad', then there's probably not much to obsess about.

Gene's are just a most exotic form of chemistry, when you get down to it.

I dont know, but are there examples of insect bites causing adverse forms of 'gene therapy' in mammals?
edit on 17-8-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 12:19 PM
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The Keys, ughh! Lots of little, barely above sea level islands surrounded by stinky swamp water with over priced modular homes on stilts. Why anyone would want to live there with 340 days of hot humid climate and no seasons is beyond me. Unless your a bum of course. Wasn't Jimmy a bum?



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 12:19 PM
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a reply to: Meldionne1

Thank you for a local perspective. It is always preferable to hear from people in the affected area rather than rely on what news stories tell us about a situation.

I have gathered in my reading that the residents of the area are indeed vehemently opposed to this activity. You bring up good points on the lack of long term studies as well as all of the other potential variables that come in to play.

It looks like there might be a bit of a conflict of interest:


The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District board found a way to help offset some of the costs of its new Lower Keys facility on Big Coppitt Key or rental payments if it can’t afford the construction costs of the proposed facility.

The board agreed Tuesday to allow the bio-tech company Oxitec to use its lab at Mosquito Control’s office in Marathon to rear genetically m...


source

This is only an excerpt as the rest of the article requires a subscription, but the idea is plain. The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District is now benefiting financially from an arrangement with Oxitec.

Meanwhile:


Signs saying “No consent” are scattered across what looks like about half the front yards in Key Haven, a neighborhood of neat, high-end homes where the streets stretch out into the Gulf of Mexico like fingers.

...

Opponents have raised other concerns as well: for every 1,000 mosquitoes released, one will be female, the sort that bite.

De Mier and other opponents ask: what happens if a female Oxitec mosquito bites a woman? What if it passes the “kill gene”, as opponents call it, to people? Oxitec scientists analyzed the saliva of roughly six mosquitoes, the gene was not detected, and scientists concluded that humans were unlikely to be exposed. But that hasn’t soothed critics.

“Opening this Pandora’s box, sometimes you don’t see the impact until five, 10, 15 years down the road,” De Mier said.

“I’m not against genetically modified at all,” she said. “Sometimes, I don’t know what I put on my table, but that’s the difference – it’s about choice,” she said, referencing the GMO food supply. “Permission has not been asked or given … This is only for Oxitec’s benefit.”


The Guardian

This resident echos my concern:

The problem with this is that the genes inserted into the mosquitos might find their way into other species by the process of horizontl gene transfer:


Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), also lateral gene transfer (LGT), is any process in which an organism incorporates genetic material from another organism without being the offspring of that organism.

...

There is some evidence that even higher plants and animals have been affected and this has raised concerns for safety. [16] However, Richardson and Palmer (2007) state: "Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has played a major role in bacterial evolution and is fairly common in certain unicellular eukaryotes. However, the prevalence and importance of HGT in the evolution of multicellular eukaryotes remain unclear." [17]

Due to the increasing amount of evidence suggesting the importance of these phenomena for evolution (see below) molecular biologists such as Peter Gogarten have described horizontal gene transfer as "A New Paradigm for Biology". [18]

It should also be noted that the process may be a hidden hazard of genetic engineering as it may allow dangerous transgenic DNA to spread from species to species. [16]
emphasis mine


It seems logical to me that the genes that are inserted in to the mosquito genome are more amenable to transferrence anyway, so they would be more likely to have that ability.

So these genes which inhibit regeneration finding their way in to other species would lead to what?



edit on 17-8-2016 by jadedANDcynical because: typo



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 12:25 PM
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Of all the things GMO, this is one I think SHOULD happen. I hate mosquitoes with a passion. They spread disease the world over. They literally control human activities outdoors and a GMO solutions might cut down on the chemical poisons sprayed daily by the gallons throughout the US.

But here's some interesting info on Florida GMO crops:

These include corn, cotton, tomatoes, soybeans, rapeseed/canola, potatoes, sugarbeets, papaya, rice, squash, alfalfa, plum, rose, tobacco, flax, and chicory (USDA 2014).

So yeah, lets pick on a poor, helpless mosquito that kills and maims humans by the hundreds of thousands every year.



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 12:28 PM
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originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
a reply to: [post=21141260]Meldionne1[/post

Next we have the mosquito. Unless its injecting some chemical into humans, or unless their gene does something 'bad', then there's probably not much to obsess about.

Gene's are just a most exotic form of chemistry, when you get down to it.

I dont know, but are there examples of insect bites causing adverse forms of 'gene therapy' in mammals?


They are injected with herpes simplex virus and e-coli.... Sounds harmless enough to us ( rolls eyes) ... but hey....I supose if you like the GMO mosquito idea we will happily send oxytec to your neighborhood !



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 12:35 PM
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The guy who was in charge of mosquito control down here just quit...He couldn't handle the heat of the residents against the GMO plan ( personally I thought he was getting a kick back..no proof of that, but locals suspect he's getting it from oxytec) ....when the locals demanded to see his emails with oxytec and it's considered part of the public information act ....he deleted his emails and quit....so in the past few years , he ran our programs that were working , into the ground...stopped the dengue program we had ( that was working wonderful) ...and ran our reserves funding into almost nothing as he bought stupid things and a built a new building we didn't need. ...I just attended a meeting and people down here are pissed...and then he quit and left . So now.... We are trying to rebuild all the mosquito programs that were working just fine. It's a mess...he was a total piece of garbage.



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 12:40 PM
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The trade off consideration involves the detriment / costs of 'carpet bombing' the entire landscape with exotic synthetic pesticides.

Temephos is one such substance released here in FLorida, I just found in a quick search.


Temefos or temephos (trade name Abate) is an organophosphate larvicide used to treat water infested with disease-carrying insects[2] including mosquitoes, midges, and black fly larvae. As with other organophosphates, temephos affects the central nervous system through inhibition of cholinesterase. In larvae, this results in death before reaching the adult stage.

In the developing world where the vector-borne disease dengue fever is endemic, temephos is widely used and applied by both private and public pest control in areas of standing water where the Aedes aegypti mosquito breeds in order to reduce the population of this disease-carrying insect.[3] Temephos is also used in the Guinea worm eradication program to kill water fleas that carry guinea worm larvae.

Resistance to temephos by A. aegypti has been seen in Brazil. The Brazilian Aedes aegypti resistance monitoring program detected temephos resistance in A. aegypti populations from several localities in the country in 1999 (Funasa 2000, Lima et al. 2003). In 1999, mosquitoes from the city of Rio de Janeiro were already resistant to temephos.[4] en.wikipedia.org...


Don't forget about driving their evolution with such substances to become resistant, as similar to the huge concern over antibiotics.

These chems work their way right up the entire food chain and into you / your family / your pets / etc.

And we know for a fact they hurt the other bugs, such as the Firefly / Lightning Bug, which are nearly extinct in FLorida. There's supposedly confusion over why, some blame "light pollution". But there's tons of vast wet areas in FLorida for them to thrive yet they don't. In Ft. Myers in the early 80's in the populated areas there were bazillions of them. As a small child age 4 you could run out there at night and catch 15 of them in like 10 minutes; not even put a dent in the swarms of them. They're insect predators so they get the brunt of these shrapnel fired exotic pesticides.

As with veggie's: you can't NOT have both pesticides & GMO. Even with them both being utilized currently, it still leaves endless opportunity for failed crops.


edit on 17-8-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 12:46 PM
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originally posted by: StoutBroux
So yeah, lets pick on a poor, helpless mosquito that kills and maims humans by the hundreds of thousands every year.


They even kill more humans than other humans:


No other species, including our own, is responsible for the loss of as many human lives each year as mosquitoes are, Gates continues. Humans murder around 475,000 other people each year. Snakes kill around 50,000, while dogs (mainly from rabies transmission) claim another 25,000 lives. Some of the most feared animals (sharks, wolves) kill fewer than 10.

The diseases that mosquitos carry and transmit to people they bite, on the other hand, kill 725,000.
www.smithsonianmag.com...


Gates is mentioned in there too. lol

I thought they killed over a million, but WHO knows.



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 12:49 PM
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a reply to: Meldionne1


( personally I thought he was getting a kick back..no proof of that, but locals suspect he's getting it from oxytec)


Well, the news story in my previous post certainly seems to indicate that to be a strong possibility with the FKMCD renting space to Oxitec. It would not be hard at all for a little extra to be included there somehow.



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 12:54 PM
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originally posted by: Meldionne1
They are injected with herpes simplex virus and e-coli.... Sounds harmless enough to us ( rolls eyes) ... but hey....I supose if you like the GMO mosquito idea we will happily send oxytec to your neighborhood !


Hey all that sure beats this:





Seriously tho, have you ever seen one of these driving around your neighborhood:


I have!

edit on 17-8-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 12:57 PM
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originally posted by: Meldionne1
The guy who was in charge of mosquito control down here just quit...He couldn't handle the heat of the residents against the GMO plan ( personally I thought he was getting a kick back..no proof of that, but locals suspect he's getting it from oxytec) ....when the locals demanded to see his emails with oxytec and it's considered part of the public information act ....he deleted his emails and quit....so in the past few years , he ran our programs that were working , into the ground...stopped the dengue program we had ( that was working wonderful) ...and ran our reserves funding into almost nothing as he bought stupid things and a built a new building we didn't need. ...I just attended a meeting and people down here are pissed...and then he quit and left . So now.... We are trying to rebuild all the mosquito programs that were working just fine. It's a mess...he was a total piece of garbage.


Bwahahaha! Nothing has changed in regards to politics it seems. I guess the good ole boy system is still kickin



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 12:58 PM
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a reply to: jadedANDcynical

Yes....there are a lot of rumors swirling with the locals who are in the " know" of all the funding , and crap that's gone on , etc....at first I thought " well maybe GMO mosquitos won't be bad and can control the mosquito population"...UNTiL I started attending the oxytec town meetings and really digging under the dirt and not and grit of the whole thing...and it's not good. The sad thing is that the locals are saying no...no consent...but regardless of the citizens voice , opinion or vote, they are pushing the agenda and oxytec said ( in a town meeting ) they were going ahead regardless.



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 01:00 PM
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a reply to: 38181

Spoken like someone that has never actually been there..

That said... Good on the Keys residents, I have spent many days down there loved it and loved the locals I met good people.

I would be concerned about dropping a barely tested modified Mosquito into such an area, Multiple times in my life (I grew up in central florida) we heard the trust me line from the state and they have constantly made things worse.

Caught a blurb the other day that the traditional methods were working... yet they still pushed this gmo idea that should make everyone take a pause.



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 01:19 PM
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originally posted by: Irishhaf
Caught a blurb the other day that the traditional methods were working... yet they still pushed this gmo idea that should make everyone take a pause.


That's why every resident in the state that doesn't live in a vacuum chamber gets eaten up every year down here.




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