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Why This Matters: Trust in government matters when it comes to approving an experiment like this one. The problem here is that environmental organizations and local citizens groups do not have confidence that the EPA has their best interest at heart. Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses can also cause serious health problems — particularly for pregnant women and their unborn babies — and their numbers will be increasing due to climate change. We need to find ways to protect ourselves from the growing mosquito threat without using harsh chemicals and ensure that experimental programs like this one have had sufficient testing and oversight. Friendly males that don’t bite — slick marketing, but is it safe?
“Oxitec’s Friendly™ safe, non-biting male mosquitoes are designed to suppress local wild populations of disease-spreading mosquitoes. Friendly™ mosquitoes carry a self-limiting gene, which means that when Friendly™ mosquito males mate with wild females, their offspring inherit a copy of this gene, which prevents females from surviving to adulthood. Since these females do not mature to reproduce, there is a reduction in the wild pest population. Male offspring survive, carrying a copy of the self-limiting gene; in turn, these males pass the self-limiting gene to half of their offspring, of which female carriers of the gene cannot survive. Presence of the self-limiting gene thereby declines over time, potentially offering multiple but still self-limiting generations of suppression for every Friendly™ male mosquito released.”
What Environmental and Community Leaders Say
Jaydee Hanson, policy director for the International Center for Technology Assessment and Center for Food Safety, said in a statement.“With all the urgent crises facing our nation and the State of Florida — the Covid-19 pandemic, racial injustice, climate change — the administration has used tax dollars and government resources for a Jurassic Park experiment.” Other angry local residents are incensed that they are being used as “guinea pigs” for the “superbug” or “Robo-Frankenstein” according to CNN. Nearly 250,000 people have signed a petition opposing the genetically modified mosquitos.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer On Tuesday, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to accept a petition that will grant the Joshua tree, the famous twisty-limbed yucca plant native to the Mojave desert, endangered species status for one year while the state conducts a study. The plant is now considered a “candidate species” […]
by Razi Beresin-Scher and Miro Korenha According to recent reporting from The Hill, atmospheric smoke is exacerbating the toll of the COVID-19 virus in Oregon and California. Smoke inhalation weakens the immune systems of those suffering from asthma and other underlying respiratory conditions, compromising their ability to recover from the virus. Researchers at the Harvard […]
Increasing populations, incomes, urbanization, and temperatures could “triple the number of AC units installed worldwide by midcentury, pushing the total toward 6 billion,” as James Temple reported for the MIT Technology Review. This could create one of the “largest sources of rising electricity demand around the world.”
Why This Matters: This is the paradox of climate change. As the world warms, cooling will be even more necessary.
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