Mosquito Board Candidates. Will They Honor The Referendum?

UPDATE: Two candidates who declined to answer our question were narrowly defeated in the election which took place on August 30th. 

Just ahead of the Monroe County primary election with seats available in Mosquito Control Districts 3 and 5, we asked the candidates, “If you are elected and a “NO” vote wins the GMO mosquito resolutions, will you abide by the public referendum and vote against the GMO test as a Commissioner?”

The graphic summarizes their answers, along with the amount of cash donations each candidate has received so far. [Source: Monroe County Supervisor of Elections] Here are their detailed answers:

Jill Cranney-Gage
“As I have stated publicly many times, I will abide by the results of the referendum in November. ”

Janet Wood
“I signed an agreement with the Environmental Coalition many months ago. I will vote with the residents. If the Key Haven Residents vote no. I will vote no also. This is one of the reasons I want to be on this board. I see a lack of transparency and a lack of respect on the sitting board. I will listen to the citizens county wide. ”

Brandon Pinder
“If I am elected in November and a “NO” vote wins the GMO mosquito referendum, I will vote against the GMO mosquito trial.”

Steve Murray-Smith
“I am the commissioner who moved that we hold a non-binding referendum on the genetic modified mosquito project. I stated then as I have stated since we voted to place this on the ballot – I will abide by the wishes of the majority who vote on the referendum.”

Stephen Hammond
Declined to answer until after the primary election.

Kathryn (Watkins) Norris
Of course I am voting NO to the GMO Mosquito trial. With the growing number of unanswered science based questions from myself and others to Oxitec; it is clear that more research is needed in order for the safety and protection of the environment and the public. My main concern being the possible release of resistant bacteria that is on the GM mosquito. According to the CDC, at least 23,000 people in the U.S. die each year from resistant bacteria. Beginning January 1, 2017 the FDA’s policy is that antibiotics considered “medically important” (such as tetracycline) for humans will no longer be approved for use to promote growth in livestock. Tetracycline is engineered in the GM Mosquito at the larvae stage. There are plenty of other techniques we can utilize and it takes more than one solution. I’m interested in learning more about Project Premonition and Wolbachia.

Oliver Kofoid
“I would vote against the release of GM mosquitoes no matter how
the vote on the referendum comes out.”

Larry Zettwoch
Did not reply.

Stanley Zuba
Did not reply.

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