Oxitec Caught In a Trap. FDA Says No to Zika “Emergency.”

In late August, we broke the story that the secret GMO mosquito lab in the Marathon FKMCD headquarters was going to be used to sell mosquitoes to Miami and other cities. When we attended the Miami Beach City Council meeting on September 4th, we found the city in a mad rush to push through a GMO mosquito agenda of their own. The very same day, the city adopted a resolution to ask the FDA to use GMO mosquitoes ahead of the Key West test or the local referendum. They were turned down.

Today, the Miami New Times reported that the FDA has denied the city’s “emergency” request to skip the testing protocol and advised that anyone who wants Oxitec mosquitoes should have the company submit their own investigational use permit for each city.

No Skipping the Test Protocol

“In the case of the proposed Key Haven trial, the FKMCD contacted Oxitec about the possibility of releasing its GE mosquitoes in the Florida Keys. As the developer of the GE mosquitoes, Oxitec, working with the FKMCD, then submitted data and information to FDA concerning the proposed investigational release. If other localities within Florida are also interested in pursuing an investigational release of Oxitec’s GE mosquitoes within their respective jurisdictions, they should contact the company directly. Oxitec could then submit the required information to FDA regarding the proposed release, in addition to working with any other federal, state, or local authorities that might have applicable authority.”

FDA Response to City of Miami Beach [emphasis added]

The Food & Drug Administration says that any city seeking a GMO mosquito release must have Oxitec prepare a proposal to the FDA and other agencies and obtain their permission first. As clearly as this is stated in the letter, it’s surprising that City Manager Jimmy Morales has interpreted this passage to mean that the city has carte blanche to release GMO mosquitoes whenever it likes.

City Manager Sees Only Green Lights

“Since the FDA’s environmental assessment states that the proposed field trial in the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District will have no significant effect on the environment it is now in the hands of the District and of the company on how and when to proceed… I have been advised that Miami-Dade Mosquito Control is scheduling a meeting with representatives from Oxitec after the election, and we will be invited to attend and participate in those discussions.”

— Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales [emphasis added]

The letter from the FDA does not in any way state that it is “now in the hands of the District and the company on how and when to proceed.” It says clearly that Oxitec must prepare the same kind of paperwork drawn up for Key West in order to get the same kind of test done in Miami. There will be objections in those cities, too, which the company doesn’t want to face. They’ve already spent $150,000 here convincing the population how much we “want” their product.

It’s not surprising, perhaps, that the City Manager’s letter enthusiastically concludes with a mention of meetings with Oxitec. The relationship between the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District and the British company has been anything but scrupulous. Our own former Director left with a big pile of secret emails the District doesn’t want to release, and ugly contracts that they now claim aren’t contracts at all. What kind of behind-the-scenes money and political deals are being made in Miami Beach?

Caught In Their Own Trap

Oxitec used the veterinary medicine division of the FDA in order to skirt the more expensive testing and higher scientific standards that would be required by a human drug. But in the case of the “emergency releases” requested by Miami and Tampa, this has turned out to be a trap. The FDA tells Miami Beach that the emergency provisions don’t apply to animal drugs.

“Your letter requests specifically that FDA authorize the use of Oxitec GE mosquitoes under the Agency’s emergency use authority (EUA), under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), in any Florida area where Zika is being transmitted or is likely to be transmitted. However, our interpretation is that section 564 of the FD&C Act does not apply to animal drugs. Therefore, as noted above, we suggest you contact Oxitec directly should you be interested in pursuing an investigational release of the company’s GE mosquitoes.”

— FDA Response to City of Miami Beach [emphasis added]

Failed “Emergency” Strategy Was CEO’s Idea

Simply declaring a “Zika emergency,” as Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry suggested earlier this year, isn’t going to work as way of forcing the GMO mosquitoes on communities which haven’t even had a say in their release. He’s concerned, along with investors, that the GMO mosquito may just be another failed product in the company’s attempt to cash-in on a DNA gold rush that hasn’t come true.

Your Voice Matters. Vote NO on GMO Mosquitoes.

Key Haven and the Florida Keys are the first communities in the world to be allowed to vote on the use of a genetically modified animal. Your vote on November 8th matters more than ever as we stand up against this dangerous and unnecessary experiment.

cover-vote-no

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