Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes and the Ecosystem

If you are like most people, you probably don’t think much about mosquitoes, except perhaps how annoying they are and the best way to prevent them from biting you.

Not a lot is actually known about mosquitoes.  They do have their place in nature and are a food source for some fish, bats, dragonflies, birds and spiders.  They also carry diseases like Malaria, Yellow Fever, West Nile Virus and Dengue Fever.  Millions of people worldwide get sick and even die from these diseases.  At a cursory look, mosquitoes appear to be more destructive than constructive.

Mosquitoes That Kill Themselves

What if mosquitoes killed themselves?  That is the idea behind Oxitec, a biotech company based in Oxford.  They have developed a male mosquito that is sterile.  When the mosquitoes are released into the wild, they mate with female mosquitoes, but the offspring will die because they are sterile.  Sounds good in theory, doesn’t it?

Dengue Fever

Oxitec has developed a GE mosquito to help eliminate dengue fever. Unlike malaria that can be carried by different types of mosquitoes, the dengue virus is carried by one variety of mosquito.  Dengue fever occurs in tropical and subtropical areas and causes flu-like symptoms including  high fever, rash, muscle and joint pain, severe headache, nausea and vomiting.  Severe cases can result in death.  Dengue fever infects between 50 – 100 million people around the world each year.

GE Mosquito Created Havoc in Brazil

The dengue GE mosquito has already been released in Brazil.  The result?  Dengue fever cases increased in that country.  But that’s not all.  These mosquitoes disrupted the ecological balance of the area where they were released and a state of emergency had to be declared.

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Shipped to Florida

Earlier in the year, several cases of dengue fever were diagnosed in Florida.  Even though all the infected had traveled to the Caribbean or South America, epidemiologists worried that a Florida mosquito might be spreading the illness.  Now, even though the GE mosquito has not been approved by the FDA, it has been shipped to Florida.

What if a similar ecological upheaval like the one Brazil suffered from happens in Florida?  We know when mother nature gets tampered with, the results are never good.  It’s not like we can go around and round up the genetically modified mosquitoes if there is a problem.  The mosquitoes didn’t stop dengue fever in Brazil, in fact the opposite.  Why should we believe we will have a different outcome in the US?  Is this not the definition of insanity?

Take Action Now

You can actually do something to stop this. Tell the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District to stop the GE mosquito experiments: You can also call & email at this address: Phone: 305.292.7190 Email:

We are all in this together.  Please do your part to help save our country.

To your Health!

Peter Gillham

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