PETITION: Stop Genetically Modified Mosquitos
TARGET: U.S. House of Representatives U.S. Senate Florida State House Florida State Senate Florida Governor
The British company, Oxitec is planning to release genetically modified mosquitoes into the Florida Keys. The company has had “success” testing this manipulation with nature in Malaysia, Brazil and the Cayman Islands. This success implies that there was a problem big enough to warrant messing with nature in the first place.
Chikungunya and dengue are tropical diseases spread by Aedes mosquitoes. Infection with the chikungunya virus leads to fever and joint pain that can be severe, although it rarely causes death. Chikungunya occurs regularly in Africa, Asia, and India, and in 2013 it was first detected in the Caribbean. In 2014, there were just over 2,300 cases of chikungunya reported in the US. However, only 11 individuals actually contracted the disease in the US (in Florida). All the others were cases that occurred in travelers returning from other affected areas in the Caribbean or Pacific Islands.
Why mess with the fragile web of nature to fix a problem that doesn’t really exist to only go off and create an even potentially bigger problem? Oxitec is trying to use a loophole by applying to the FDA for an "animal bug" patent. This could mean these mutant mosquitoes could be released at any point against the wishes of locals and the scientific community. We need to make sure the FDA does not approve Oxitec's patent.
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