GMO Wars: Florida to use genetically altered insects to fight Zika
09/16/2016 / By JD Heyes / Comments
GMO Wars: Florida to use genetically altered insects to fight Zika

If you’ve never heard of the word “frankenskeeter,” you’re about to hear it used quite a bit, especially if you live in or near southern Florida. It seems that a growing number of state lawmakers want to employ them to kill off “skeeters” that are carrying usually mild Zika virus.

As reported by AMI Newswire, several state lawmakers urged federal health officials last week to permit the deployment of GMO-modified mosquitoes as a means of combating the spread of the virus.

Opponents of the plan, however, say that they fear the genetically altered insects, developed by British company Oxitec, would create a cycle of unintended consequences for the environment.

Still, lawmakers are pushing for the release of “frankenskeeters” despite the fact that their test release in a proposed field in the Florida Keys is proving controversial. There, a mosquito control board has been fielding vocal opposition to the plan.

As such, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District is placing nonbinding referendums about the trials on a pair of county ballots that will appear on the Nov. 8 elections to get an idea of how voters feel about them before getting final approval.

AMI Newswire noted that Oxitec has reported use of the frankenskeeters in the Cayman Islands, Brazil and Panama has led to 90-percent decreases in the local populations of the Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

But as reported by Natural News in February, oddly enough the same region where GMO mosquitoes were released happens to be the Brazilian epicenter of where the current Zika outbreak began in 2015. In fact, just months after the genetically altered mosquitoes were released, thousands of babies were born with birth defects.


What makes the association of these birth defects – in the form of microcephaly – and the Zika virus odd is that the virus itself has been around since 1947, and since then, just a few cases of the virus have appeared. Over the years there have been cases but nothing like what is taking place now.

And yet, American leaders seem intent on perpetuating what may in fact be very bad policy. In a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, 61 members of the Florida House of Representatives have sought federal permission to give the state authority to deploy the frankenskeeters.

“If the federal government follows its normal bureaucratic processes, it might take years for Florida to access this technology,” the lawmakers said in the Sept. 6 letter. “Such a delay presents an unnecessary health risk to the people of our state. Red tape is never an acceptable justification for the loss of human life.”

The history of humans tampering with their surrounding environment is not good. As we’ve seen with Monsanto’s chemical violence and manipulation of crop strains to vaccine-induced autism, when we change the natural order, bad things can and have happened.

Florida lawmakers would do well to heed this advice and drop this frankenskeeter plan.


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