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Brazilian Regulator's Irresponsibility Produces #Dengue 'Super Mosquito'… (Portuguese) New hybrid mosquitoes may be more harmful to health and the environment. #gmo
Without being consulted, nor even informed, about the risks to which it would be exposed, the population of the Pedra Branca district was subjected to an experiment between 2013-2015... 1,144 residents were infested with thousands and thousands of #GMO mosquitoes by Oxitec.
The #GMO mozzies had the mission of copulating with Aedes females and transmitting to their offspring a protein capable of killing them before reaching reproductive age. The PR claim was that the GMO insects wouldn't reproduce, much less perpetuate themselves in the environment.
Although Oxitec claims the project reduced the population of dengue mosquitoes by 92%, in August 2014 the local mayor decreed an emergency in the municipality due to the disease. As well as failing in its mission, the project may also have caused unpredictable ecological changes.
"The study shows the mosquitoes incorporated genes from the #GMO variety, resulting in hybrid insects, which usually have greater vigor/potency & about which there are no studies. Its efficiency in virus transmission may even be greater. So now we have a tougher 'super mosquito'"
That's the comment of biologist José Maria Gusman Ferraz, a researcher at Unicamp's Ecological Engineering Lab, who helped write a report for the regulator warning about the need for further health and environmental impact studies before any release of the #GMO mosquitoes.
Ferraz says firms wanting to profit may make misleading claims & omit data. But the regulator shouldn't turn the population into guinea pigs, vulnerable to the negative effects of a tech that's generated hybrids, possibly resistant to insecticides. None of this has been evaluated
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