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Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Release in the Millions with No Risk Assessment

Mike Barrett
November 10th, 2012
Updated 11/10/2012 at 5:27 am
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mosquitoinlight 250x156 Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Release in the Millions with No Risk AssessmentIn case you didn’t know, genetically modified mosquitoes have been unleashed numerous times on planet Earth. Thus far, millions mosquitoes were released in various locations; Cayman Islands, Malaysia, and Brazil. Now, the GM mosquito creator Oxitec may release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in the fields of crops, including olives, citrus fruits, cabbage, tomatoes, and cotton.

A UK-based company, Oxitec is the maker of all genetically modified insects. The company’s goal is to create a global market, where GM insects will be released around the world in order to take over natural insect populations. With the replacement of natural insects, the company hopes to wipe out disease carried by insects as well as those insects feeding on farmers’ crops. As scary as it might sound, thousands of insect species could be genetically altered in the near future.

Interestingly, Oxitec is supported by and very close with multinational pesticide and seed company, Syngenta. Syngenta, in addition to providing the world with destructive pesticides, has also been charged with covering up the deaths of many animals consuming the company’s GM corn. Being mainly interested in the market for GM agricultural pests, Syngenta as well as Oxitec are planning to commercialize GM insects around the world.

What’s especially scary about the release and future modification of thousands of species is that all of this will be done with little risk assessment. Not to mention not knowing of the vast number of negative outcomes that could occur from genetically modifying parts the biosphere.

Dr Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch UK said “The public will be shocked to learn that GM insects can be released into the environment without any proper oversight. Conflicts-of-interest should be removed from all decision-making processes to ensure the public have a proper say about these plans.”

To help release the GM insects, Oxitec is influencing regulation around the world. One example of influence revolves around the European Food Safety Authority, established to help the risk assessment of GM insects. As reported by FarmWars, there seems to be numerous instances of conflict of interested, which includes experts with links to Oxitec. The connection of those in EFSA and Oxitec is very similar to that of the Monsanto-FDA connection, where several government officials have hard-links to biotech giant Monsanto.

The draft Guidance on risk assessment of GM insects shows some significant deficiencies: for example it does not consider the impacts of GM insects on the food chain. Oxitec’s GM insects are genetically engineered to die mostly at the larval stage so dead GM larvae will enter the food chain inside food crops such as olives, cabbages and tomatoes. Living GM insects could also be transported on crops to other farms or different countries. EFSA has excluded any consideration of these important issues from its draft guidance. Many other issues are not properly addressed.

A briefing shows how Oxitec is trying to influence regulatory processes for GM insects. Oxitec:

  • Doesn’t want to be liable for any complications.
  • Tries to avoid any regulation of GM agricultural pests on crops appearing in the food chain.
  • Excludes important issues from risk assessments, such as the impact on human immunity and disease, and the possible outcomes arising from surviving GM mosquitoes.
  • Releases large amount of GM mosquitoes prior to regulations.
  • Attempts to define ‘biological containment’ of the insects (which are programmed to die at the larval stage) as contained use, by-passing requirements for risk assessments and consultation on decisions to release GM insects into the environment.
  • Undermining the requirement to obtain informed consent for experiments involving insect species which transmit disease.
  • Ignores any labeling using products produced from GM insects and how insects can be contained where released.

Additional Sources:

The Briefing: Genetically-Modified Insects: Under Whose Control?

About Mike Barrett:
2.thumbnail Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Release in the Millions with No Risk Assessment Google Plus Profile |Mike is the co-founder, editor, and researcher behind Natural Society. Studying the work of top natural health activists, and writing special reports for top 10 alternative health websites, Mike has written hundreds of articles and pages on how to obtain optimum wellness through natural health.

From around the web:

  • Kimberly Preston

    Talk to your store managers. Grocers have to understand that this movement will effect stores who don’t give the consumer what they want. Organize a public protest in your town. Let people know, GMO’s cause Autism, Diabetes, Arthritis, Lupus, Cancer, Thyroid Disorders, other Endocrine Disorders, IBS, Food Allergies, etc. I am finding that older people just don’t believe all this.

  • Kimberly Preston

    What about effects on birds and frogs that eat this? This has been done before?! Did Monsanto create the bird flu?

  • Rhonda

    People are already getting infected from mosquitoes from different virus's. Now when they find one with no cure, who will be held accountable for our sick children?

    You know, not everyone can buy organic. We live in a very small town, there is only 4 places to shop, and it does not say organic on ANY of the stores! There is no farmers market here..Pay Off's Pay Off's, for people's lives!



  • Linda

    Hi, great article, also agree a pinterest button and a stumbleupon button would be great as well. When are we going to go after these people and companies. Surely if the world would become involved, they could be stopped.

  • Avis Edwards

    All of this has been going on for a very, very, very long time. GMO's in veggies & meat have been hid from the public for many decades now. All I know is the fallout is and will be horrific. God is watching!

  • ginger

    You need to add a Pinterest button. I have a board about important issues and I'd like to be able to just pin this to that board. As it is now, I cannot get the 'add this' to pinterest to successfully pin it.

    I think this is appalling. And I agree, it's mad, and we're all the part of the experiment without being asked. Same goes for GMO crops. When are they going to stop playing God with the planet?

  • nazunia

    Iam flabbergasted…about the announcement…just plain craziness..I don't know what everything is going to end.

  • hanspy

    And so are we without asking victom of some wierd ppl that think that money heals the world. Nature didnt invent illnes for nothing.How hard it may be , it is not all bad. We are creations from it and are wa bad? Nature wil strike back with an force that we cant manage as we see already over the whole world. But the money ppl dont care. They are not in those places where the tests are done. So they are pretty safe. NOW.

  • Brenda Lingier

    Mosanto spent millions of $$, to defect Prop 37 , and Mosanto has placed their people in the Food and Drug Dept.. that is why the US Food & Drug Dept will not investigate complaints against Mosanto . GMO is very bad news for America and has caused harmful side effects .

  • yankee phil

    Why isn't a petition circulated ,perhaps on the internet for instance, asking why these problems aren't addressed by the FDA or the UN center on disease control and forcing the issue on the presidency and congress. I believe with more than a million signatures the congress must allow the petition to be heard on the house floor and entered into the records of house business,thusly making it news worthy for mainstream news services to pick up on.

    • ginger

      Maybe you should be the very person to start that petition. I'll sign!

    • fee

      There was a petition with 1,000,000 plus signatures sent to the FDA about labeling, months back. They LOST the petition, if you can believe that! They didn't give a rat's rip! That was when people said, oh well, we'll depend on Prop 37. The people did NOT vote that out. That election was totally rigged. There is no way you can make me believe that people didn't vote for that. Even if they didn't CARE about GMOs, why would they care if it was on the label? They did apparently send letters out saying that people would have to pay a lot more for their groceries if the Prop passed.

  • Taby

    I can't believe we as humans are letting them follow thru with their horrible experiments ..

    I am sure that' the outcome will not be good..

    May we wake up soon

    • Greg

      what would you have people do?

  • Dr.NV Giridharan

    Initially the idea was to release sterile males into population and that way have a cotrol over mosquito poulation.When was it decided to go in the GMO way..REAL MAD…

  • linn

    I agree! what hold does Monsanto & associates have on politicians? fda & usda approve them all the time!

    we cant even have gmo labeling? sounds like communist china to me

    • Honeyoil

      Check the resumes of USDA and FDA high ranking officials. ALL of them are associated with Monsanto. The corruption runs deep. I hope we can survive their plans. It really is us or them.

    • Orianayonva

      The reason the FDA and the USDA approve Monsanto all o f the time is because those government entities have Monsanto players who pass it through. Prior to being the Supreme Court Judge who put GW Bush in office,Clarence Thomas was Monsanto's lawyer. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (Anne Veneman) was on the Board of Directors of Monsanto's Calgene Corporation. The Secretary of Defense (Donald Rumsfeld) was on the Board of Directors of Monsanto's Searle pharmaceuticals. The U.S. Secretary of Health, Tommy Thompson, received $50,000 in donations from Monsanto during his winning campaign for Wisconsin's governor. The two congressmen receiving the most donations from Monsanto during the last election were Larry Combest (Chairman of the House Agricultural Committee) and Attorney General John Ashcroft. (Source: Dairy Education Board) and the kicker…. In order for the FDA to determine if Monsanto's growth hormones were safe or not, Monsanto was required to submit a scientific report on that topic. Margaret Miller, one of Monsanto's researchers put the report together. Shortly before the report submission, Miller left Monsanto and was hired by the FDA. Her first job for the FDA was to determine whether or not to approve the report she wrote for Monsanto. In short, Monsanto approved its own report. Assisting Miller was another former Monsanto researcher, Susan Sechen. Deciding whether or not rBGH-derived milk should be labeled fell under the jurisdiction of another FDA official, Michael Taylor, who previously worked as a lawyer for Monsanto. So when you get to the nitty gritty…Monsanto owns our government about as much as the elitist bankers do.

  • Jimmy Russels

    Why has no one firebombed the labs of these mad scientists?

    • frank

      Because that would be illegal, and could harm another person?

      • hanspy

        Is that not the best thing to do with these mad scientists? Just plain burn them.

        • ginger

          Something seriously needs to be done to this continuing experiment on humanity and all Earth's residents.

          • fee

            ginger, I don't think it's an experiment. I think it's an extermination plan, and they know EXACTLY what they're doing. There have been studies proving that GMOs cause sterility, and that they cause cancers. But Monsanto just blinks and says no studies are 'needed!' I guess not, if they are already well aware of what they do!

        • till

          dig up the fields and burn em out