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Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Unleashed | Concerns Grow

Mike Barrett
November 3rd, 2011
Updated 11/08/2012 at 10:22 pm
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bugmosquitoleaf1 210x131 Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Unleashed | Concerns Grow

This past Sunday researchers announced initial success regarding the environmental release of genetically modified mosquitoes which are designed to kill their own offspring before they reach adulthood. The first mosquito release took place in the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean in 2009. On Sunday, October 27, the release was discussed in a scientific paper by the journal of Nature Biotechnology with the report concluding the releases’ success.

The study involved about 19,000 genetically modified mosquitoes which were released in the Grand Cayman Islands over a 25-acre area for four weeks. To evaluate the effects concerning the mosquitoes and their impact on the overall mosquito population, researchers set traps to capture the mosquitoes for larvae analysis. According to the study, genetically modified mosquitoes made up 16 percent of the whole male mosquito population in the test zone, with the lethal gene present in 10 percent of the larvae analyzed.

The mosquitoes are genetically modified with a gene designed to kill them unless given an antibiotic known as tetracycline. Offspring of the GM mosquitoes will receive this same lethal gene which will kill the offspring before it can ever reach adulthood. As more genetically modified mosquitoes mate with wild mosquitoes, the idea is that more and more offspring will be produced with the lethal gene, thereby reducing the mosquito population.

Oxitec, the British company responsible for the creation of the genetically modified mosquitoes, created this internally manipulated insect to help control agricultural pests and reduce insect-borne diseases like dengue fever and malaria. They received about $24 million from investors for their mosquito science project.  It wouldn’t be surprising if the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation contributed to Oxitec’s goal, as the foundation funded genetically modified mosquitoes back in 2010. In fact, the actions taken by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have been contributing to genetic modification for years.

The problem with the release of these genetically modified mosquitoes is that we have no idea what effects they could have on the environment as a whole as well as public health. Once these creatures are released, it is impossible to un-release them. The last thing this world needs is more genetically manipulated animals and crops.

Supporters of genetic modification have no idea of the long-term repercussions this often profit-driven practice holds for the future. Genetically modified crops have been shown time and time again to pose serious health risk. A study published back in 2009 showed that three Monsanto genetically modified corn varieties posed real health risk. Another study conducted in April of 2010 found that genetically modified soy was linked to sterility and infant mortality. Cardinal Peter Turkson, a prominent member of the Vatican , even spoke out against genetically modified crops and deemed them a “new form of slavery”.

Who are we to manipulate nature? The truth is that we have no idea what the future holds for genetic modification and the potential impacts it has on the environment and public health. Genetically modified food isn’t even labeled, and people all around the world are growing serious concerns about consuming such foods. We know that the genetically modified mosquitoes are equipped with a lethal gene designed to lower the mosquito population, but what does that really mean for humans?

We simply do not know the potential outcomes that could arise from such God-playing. As for present day genetic modification, all signs show that so far all we are doing is killing the food supply.

Additional Sources:

The Huffington Post

About Mike Barrett:
2.thumbnail Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Unleashed | Concerns Grow 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:

  • Alan

    If like me you live somewhere with a lot of mozzies you’d welcome this. Sounds better than carpet bombing everything with chemicals

  • Victor Stone

    The question how long will these modified bugs stay that way? Considering how fast insects evolve, I wouldn't be surprised if that "kill their offspring" mentality fades away long before the final goal is accomplished.

  • Anonymous

    the mosquitoes released in other parts of the world caused spontaneous abortions, paralysis, and gave many people polio. it is NOT safe. there is NOT a vaccine in it! BILL GATES is at the top of the DEPOPULATION agenda, so we would be idiots to think he is trying to save lives. wonderful timing with all the standing water that will be left from "ISAAC".

  • B

    I think it is important to note that these mosquitoes are invasive species and not a normal part of most ecosystems. They live in urban environments that man created and originated in Africa and Asia. They are a detrminent to health and pose a terrible economic burden on the poor.

  • kizzy

    It would be good, benevolent and philanthropic for the investors and involved scientists to first do an in-house practicum: to spend a period of time in the habitat or a room with these GM Mosquis and see the outcome of these mosquis bites over a period of a week or month with blood tests and dna outcomes before releasing into community. Then do it annually having third watchdog groups monitor and do the testing.

  • wvhillbilly

    Monsanto's Roundup Ready GM crops should be example enough of the dangers of releasing GM stuff into the environment. These crops have been a total disaster, the Roundup Ready gene has already transferred to weeds making them resistant to herbicides, and seeds and pollen from them are contaminating non GMO crops and threatening to pollute the entire gene pool. You cannot control a living organism once you release it into the environment. Further, in dousing the crops with Roundup and other herbicides these chemicals become a part of the makeup of the plant, adding to the possible toxic effects of the GMO. Already farmers feeding their livestock feed made from Roundup Ready products are reporting loss of fertility and other toxic effects from the feed.

    And now we want to release GMO mosquitoes into the environment that will have unknown effects on whatever/whomever they bite? This is a very bad idea.

  • Anon.

    This is unbelievably stupid.

  • TZ

    Mosquitos are very important to the eco system and the food system. If they get wiped out by this toxin then our food supply is introuble and certain species like frogs and bats that feed off mosquitoes will to be ingesting this poison. If you read up on mosquitos they aswell as bats not just bees pollinate certain plants. We have the bee collapse now we will have a whole food chain collapse what is behind this whole collapse and why must we suffer for the few.

    Not to mention these mosquitos have a potential to bite humans and exchange these toxins into our bloodstream that stores in our tissues, liver, cells breaking down our DNA.

    • Anonymous

      Precisely, genetically modifying an entire species can NOT lead to anything but unforeseen consequences.

  • Martin

    It's only a matter of time before the entire ecosystem is destroyed by genetically modified monsters.

    • Carol

      I wonder what happens when birds eat them? The birds have been mysteriously been disapearing in my area.