The saga of the GMO mosquito has been a long and drawn-out one, with the British company Oxitec maneuvering to position its “product” as a solution to disease while wary citizens question the environmental impacts and risks of releasing novel organisms into the environment.
It has even extended into Africa where Bill Gates has announced plans to unleash the mosquitoes into Burkina Faso for experimental purposes.
Next on the agenda are release points in Texas and the Florida Keys, as Oxitec applies to the FDA for an “animal bug” patent on its GMO creations.
In response, a petition has been started by one woman (along with 30 physicians) that is gaining serious traction and could help put a stop to this controversial technology.
Petition Still Seeking Supporters Despite Tragic Death of Founder
The petition in question was started by Mila de Mier, who submitted it to the Florida Division Technology Officer of Agricultural Environment Services Carol Leger along with 32 other officials.
Unfortunately de Mier was unable to see it through to completion, as she was tragically found dead, face down in a Washington, D.C. hotel swimming pool shortly before she was set to deliver 200,000 signatures to the EPA.
Prior to her death, she posted the following on her Facebook page:
“The time is now Please sign and share ! We are not guinea pigs,” she wrote according to this article on the incident from the website GMWatch.org. “Is time to set standards when it come to people and Biotec(h)nology.”
The circumstances of her passing are still unknown, but it has been reported by her Facebook page that she suffered from seizures, which may have contributed to her death.
The Current State of GMO Mosquito Release in Texas and Florida
Already, the Florida Keys has passed an ordinance demanding more testing, but Oxitec is trying to get out of it by using the “animal bug” loophole mentioned earlier.
“This profit driven biotech company wants to release more than 50 million GMO mosquitoes per week into Florida and Texas,” the petition reads. “These GMO mosquitoes could pose major risks to fragile ecosystems like the Florida Keys and Texas and may pose risks to public health and safety.”
Created using E-Coli bacteria, herpes-simplex virus and other ingredients, the mosquitoes have already been blocked by Florida Keys residents who demanded more testing. But Oxitec is doggedly persistent and wants to release these millions of mosquitoes into the environment soon, despite the fact that nobody can ever really know the true consequences.
“We do not consent to being a human experiment and we do not want GMO mosquitoes.” the petition reads. “Tell the EPA to not approve the GMO mosquito.”
Over 30 Local Physicians Join the Movement
According to de Mier’s petition, which can be read and signed by clicking here, over 30 local physicians in the Key West area where she hails from are joining in supporting the petition, which she hopes will get 300,000 signatures and is expected to be delivered to the EPA.
At the time of this article the petition sat at over 230,000 signatures, with under 70,000 to go in total.
The physicians have joined de Mier in asking for a more in-depth and detail evaluation of the risks of the GMO mosquito and potential antibiotic dependency effects and risks they may pose to humans.
“The Center for Disease Control notes that Oxitec’s trials are not set up to test for disease reduction,” the petition reads. “If the experiments (go) forward, there would still be enough non-GMO mosquitoes in the environment, including in peoples’ homes and backyards, to spread disease.”
The GMO mosquito business is extremely profitable for Oxitec, which had previously signed a 2-year, $8 million contract with the Cayman Islands only to see the government cancel the agreement and instead opt for a far cheaper pilot program.
More Thoughts on the GMO Mosquito Experiment
Because GMOs of all kinds, whether they be GM mosquitoes or CRISPR non-browning apples, are not forced to undergo independent safety testing yet are allowed onto the market untested, they can be foisted upon the population without transparency.
It is for these reasons, along with the potential environmental and safety risks, that we should roundly reject these GMO creations.
“This is a medical intervention without consent. We need real solutions, not GMO mosquitoes,” de Mier says according to the petition.
“This is very concerning because in this new experiment we are talking over 50 Million of mosquitoes per week, 7 days a week which will equal to billions of GM mosquitoes between Florida and Harris County, Texas,” she says.
“The data of the government of Cayman where this GMO mosquitoes has been released twice, is very different thank what Oxitec has been claiming. A lot of questions need to be answered including the solid evidence of the environmental effect in nature, public health and safety.”
To help her reach her goal before the mosquitoes are released, sign the petition by clicking here.