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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.
The editors of over 230 medical journals said in a statement on Monday that climate change is a health issue and that its effects could become “catastrophic” if world leaders don’t do more to address it. The health impacts of climate change include wildfire smoke–which has been linked to an increase in positive COVID-19 cases–and pollutants […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor The EPA has announced that it will propose the first-ever limits on the discharge of polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, in wastewater. The class of chemicals, often called “forever chemicals,” can accumulate in the environment and the human body and contribute to health problems. However, public health and environmental […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor The editors of more than 230 medical journals said in a statement on Monday that human health is being harmed by climate change, and that the effects could become catastrophic if governments don’t do more to address it. The unprecedented joint editorial cites climate change’s proven links to “heat […]
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