A ruling by the Federal Drug Administration means that life saving genetically modified mosquitoes were a step closer to being used in Florida. Just as the zika virus carrying bugs look set to move north with the warm weather.
Step forward the eco-NIMBYs in the Florida Keys Environmental Coalition (FKEC), complaining that genetically modified mosquitoes are not safe, not wanted, and that Oxitec’s plans are simply marketing hype. This is despite the fact that genetically modified mosquitoes have undergone six years of trials and are backed by the WHO, and the House of Lords. Even the technical advisor for the American Mosquito Control Association described recent trials as “novel and potentially efficacious”.
Even though FKEC has no evidence for their outrageous claims, that hasn’t stopped them publicising a 160,000 strong petition and launching a state-wide campaign to halt the trials. In January, the group hosted an anti-GM mosquito event, featuring “experts”. Adding academic clout to this panel was none other than anti-GMO darling Jeffrey Smith, previously famous for his scare-mongering claims over totally false links between GMOs and autism.
Guido can see why they’re not worried – tin foil hats make great anti-mosquito devices…