Commissioner Kaufman Rejects GMO Mosquito “Clinical Trials” on His Family.

At this week’s meeting, Key West City Commissioner Samuel Kaufman spoke out strongly against the GMO mosquito test proposed for Key West, citing a lack of scientific evidence at the meeting and concerns that he and his family would be used as unwilling participants in a human “clinical trial.”

Where is the evidence? Why is there not any backup material? Why is there no scientific data? Nothing presented. And we’re asked to approve something based on a 5 minute presentation from [Mosquito Director] Mr. Doyle?…

You say there’s evidence, but not a single piece of paper is on this agenda… And there are a lot of questions I have for Oxitec… For example, why is it that there have been no clinical trials on humans?.. I don’t want to be tested… I have two children and I don’t want them to be tested either…

I wanna know about Wolbachia. Why is Wolbachia not an option?…

I wanna know why, in the proposed contract with Oxitec, why are they indemnified?… If there’s nothing to be worried about, why are they limiting their liability?…

Why is there no EIS [Environmental Impact Study] and why is there no backup plan? What if something goes wrong? What if some people do get sick, God forbid? What happens then? Who’s gonna cover it? Not Oxitec! Not according to their contract.

— Commissioner Samuel Kaufman  [emphasis ours]

Mr. Kaufman is absolutely right. There have been no human clinical trials of GMO mosquitoes or assessments of the long term risks to human health and the environment. Like many of us, Sam doesn’t want to be the test subject or allow his children to be exposed to these potential risks.

It’s also true that Oxitec did not submit an Environmental Impact Statement, which would be required for any other business which raised animals or was creating human drugs. The company avoided these regulations by positioning GMO mosquitoes as an “animal drug” instead.

As an elected official, Kaufman is naturally concerned about the secret agreement we leaked which offers a “get out of jail free” card for Oxitec and outgoing Directory Doyle if the experiment should get out of control.

He also points out the Wolbachia option, a safer alternative which has recently been approved for testing in Monroe County.

The commissioner did state at the meeting that he would like to be able to support the GMO mosquitoes, but given these circumstances, he could not. See all the commission’s comments in this video.

You can reach Commissioner Kaufman at 305-809-3844 or email him at skaufman@cityofkeywest-fl.gov and tell him you reject GMO mosquitoes, too.

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