Zika Virus May Have Originated With Genetically Modified Mosquitoes In Dengue, Yellow Fever Study
The law of unintended consequences seems to dog the purveyors of all things genetically modified. Go figure, when you start tinkering with things that mother nature created over billions of years of slow evolution that our tiny human minds and limited vision might screw it up. But I digress.
There seems to be an iron-clad counterweight to each and every set of claims they make about GMOs:
• They’re going to feed the world with abundant GMO crops–but in the process kill all the honeybees.
• They’ll get rid of nasty weeds–but the cancer-causing glyphosate they use will end up in our cereal
• They’ve engineered salmon to grow faster and bigger–but the engineered ones could easily muscle out real fish if and when they escape aquaculture pens
And now some are saying that the current Zika scare may very well have originated with a strain of genetically-engineered mosquito designed to combat yellow fever, dengue fever, chikungunya and–you guessed it–the Zika virus.
Using funding sourced from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, British biotech company Oxitec has developed a species of mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito to be exact, that may very well be exacerbating the crisis. The company conducted its first outdoor trials with the GM mosquitoes in the Caribbean, on the island of Grand Cayman in 2009.
But that was just the beginning. In 2012 Oxitec opened its large-scale, genetically-modified mosquito farm in Brazil. The Zika virus outbreak originated in Brazil of course, with 18 of the country’s 26 states reporting that it has been detected.
The facility was built with the goal of combating dengue fever, which is spread by the same Aedes mosquitoes which spread the Zika virus. and though they “cannot fly more than 400 meters,” WHO stated, “it may inadvertently be transported by humans from one place to another.”
By July 2015, shortly after the GM mosquitoes were first released into the wild in Juazeiro, Brazil, Oxitec announced they had “successfully controlled the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads dengue fever, chikungunya and zika virus, by reducing the target population by more than 90 percent.”
The timing if nothing else makes one suspicious, knowing as we do about those nasty laws of unintended consequences.
At best, the release of the genetically modified insects being hailed as the successful control of the species seems to have been wildly inaccurate. At worst, they have started a plague that science has no idea how to control.