Here are 5 facts you must know about GMO mosquitoes to prepare yourself for the corporate publicity campaign from Oxitec. Source documents are linked below. Do your own homework and you’ll want to vote NO in November on GMO mosquitoes.
1. BITING FEMALES WILL BE RELEASED.
The official FDA Report on Oxitec’s GMO mosquito product estimates that 62 biting females would be released per person in Key Haven if the test were allowed to proceed. No one can know the effects of Oxitec’s artificial DNA entering the human bloodstream through mosquito bites. A university study in Japan showed that GMO mosquitoes can transmit their artificial DNA by biting humans.
2. GMO MOSQUITOES CONTAIN ARTIFICIAL DNA INCLUDING E. COLI & HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS.
The FDA Report lays out the source of the artificial genes that make up Oxitec’s patented sequence grown into each cloned mosquito. They contain parts from several strains of wild mosquitoes along with E. Coli bacteria, Herpes simplex virus, cabbage moths, fruit flies, and a fluorescent sea coral. Just as in the movie Jurassic Park (the book it came from was written as a warning), there is no way to predict the effects of introducing this artificial DNA into the food chain through reproduction, consumption of mosquitoes by other animals, soil contamination, or biting.
3. GMO MOSQUITOES ARE NOT STERILE.
The FDA Report reveals that Oxitec’s process does not sterilize mosquitoes. Instead, a “lethal gene” is present which makes offspring die sooner than their wild counterparts. About 5% of the GMO mosquitoes do not have the lethal sequence, meaning they can be expected to reproduce in the wild. Released females will reproduce, too. The combined DNA from GMO mosquitoes and wild ones is not the same as Oxitec’s cloned strain produced in a lab. There is no way to predict the effects this can have on nature, including causing another competitive mosquito species in the area to rise up and dominate.
4. GMO MOSQUITOES MUST BE CONTINUALLY RELEASED ALONG WITH PESTICIDE SPRAY.
The FDA Report as well as the much-advertised tests in Brazil indicate that pesticide spraying must continue along with the constant release of GMO mosquitoes. In the Key Haven test alone, over 14 million mosquitoes would be released in total, 3 times a week, over a period of 22 months. In a news story from June, outgoing Director Michael Doyle said that GMO mosquitoes would be “very expensive.”
5. SECRET KEYS MOSQUITO LAB BUILT WITHOUT PUBLIC CONSENT.
Never Again recently leaked the secret agreement between Oxitec and the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District which allowed the $4 billion private company to build a commercial GMO mosquito factory inside of a taxpayer-funded building. Four public employees are expected to report to Oxitec Product Manager Derric Nimmo and all communications about the test must be approved by Oxitec. At its most recent meeting, the Board approved using the Marathon lab to raise GMO mosquitoes for release in other cities across the United States.