FDA Turns South Floridians into Human Guinea Pigs

September 4, 2012
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gm-mosquitoUntested, bio-engineered mosquitoes will likely be released in the Florida Keys.

The British firm Oxitec is in the process of seeking approval in the US for a mosquito that has been genetically engineered to combat dengue fever (an infectious, mosquito-borne tropical disease that causes fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash similar to measles). The company wants to release the mosquitoes for testing in the Florida Keys, and has opened an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the FDA.

The Florida Keys Mosquito District had earlier said that a release of mosquitoes “will only take place once all necessary regulatory and ethical approvals have been obtained from regulatory agencies at both federal and state level, based on the results of independent, rigorous, scientific review”—and that the proposal is now “on indefinite hold.” To the contrary, permits for testing in Florida Keys, and eventual approval of GE mosquitoes, could be in our immediate future—now that Oxitec has an IND with the industry-friendly FDA.

According to our sources, the USDA issued a permit on June 4 for “GE yellow fever mosquitoes” for import to Florida. We have received word that the USDA is planning to study Oxitec’s mosquitoes (in containers) to see how well they mate with native Key West mosquitoes.

Note that GE mosquitoes haven’t been proven safe, either for the environment or for the human population. It hasn’t even been proven that they can effectively reduce spread of dengue fever! The people of Florida Keys will be guinea pigs in this experiment, but who knows how far these mosquitoes might spread—or with what consequences?


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47 Responses to “FDA Turns South Floridians into Human Guinea Pigs”

  1. sandra says:

    A complex issue. More chemical pesticides vs. fewer disease carrying mosquitoes. I tend to opt for fewer mosquitoes. In the past I have been shocked when hearing of some of the GMOs people wanted to release. But this sounds like it carries very little risk. Certainly irradiation-sterilized males would be preferable if they could be produced and if the female in this species responds to breeding, not to the presence of sperm. Also would be better if they could eliminate the females from the released population. The one thing that stands out as disturbing is the comment that it might work in mammals, which raises the specter of whether it could be transmitted to humans if the gene found its way into female adults.
    I have questions, as you can see, but I like the general concept.

       0 likes

  2. ThomasT says:

    We have the dreaded dengue heer in Thailand, (Phuket) where I live most the year. It’s not a joke when you get it. What’s wrong with combatting it with a supper mozzie??

    All our family and many friends have already been through dengue. Fever up to 104, extreme pain in joints, weakness. lasts up to 10 days,, then you feel like cr.p for the next fortnight.. The weak, young and elderly die. You want to try dengue, or have a super mozzie buzzing around protecting you?

       0 likes

    • Stella says:

      I am not sure what you are not getting the whole picture. Sure the dengue fever is hell – no question — but there is nothing here that says the mosquito is going to resolve this. You must realize you are being sold a bill of goods. In the same way that we were told that fluoride would help with tooth decay – now children are suffering from fluorodosis — too much fluuoride that has damaged their bones and teeth. Also it is causing a reduction in the IQs of the children that are drinking the water that is poisoned with it. …..and poison it is. Enless groups in localities around the country push very hard, they are not able to stop the fluoridation. the powers that be are creating the problem and giving you their answer…..which in the end will most likely result in contamination of humans and any other species that are touched by this “cure.”

         0 likes

  3. Francisco Abalo says:

    I don’t get what the big deal is.
    It is not like they carry a plague or disease. They are just male mosquitoes (they don’t bite you) that have been genetically engineered to produce sterile offspring when they mate with the local females, therefore reducing the population of just the targeted specie. The best part is that the sterile offspring means that basically they die off and the GE event released into nature dies off with them.
    how is that worst than current pesticide intensive control practices?

       3 likes

    • paul says:

      Nature always finds a way.

         1 likes

    • Van says:

      The big deal is that it isn’t known for absolute certain these GM skeeters will die off as polanned.

      Life always finds a way to survive. We should complete more testing and verification before using anything as a knee-jerk reaction

         3 likes

  4. Kristy Johnson says:

    It has become very obvious to a lot of us that the USDA and FDA are not here for our protection. I agree with the comments I read. All of them. The United States has become a scary place to live. I have been trying to figure out how the people that come up with these “experiments” (all GMO products) think they and their families are going to stay well in the future. I can only imagine that they don’t care about their families or themselves. I sign petitions nearly everyday to try and keep some food safe for us to eat. I talk to people. Most people have no idea this stuff is going on. It gets harder and harder to believe that “the people” have any say in anything. The whole system is so corrupt. It is hard to be optimistic anymore. I am glad that at least I have this and a few other websites that still tell the truth. It lets me know there are other people out there who care about the same things that matter to me.

       8 likes

  5. Nancy says:

    Are you people crazy.

       3 likes

  6. Bonnie says:

    I guess no one at the FDA or the science lab ever watched “Jurassic Park.” Remember, the dinos weren’t supposed to be able to breed because they were all female? Heh, right.

    Best line of the movie: “Life will find a way.”
    Why do I get the feeling I’m seeing the movie in a different scale right now?

       4 likes

  7. Letitia Hale says:

    Don’t these people remember or care about what happened with the killer bee experiment(s)? And, what measures are taken to prevent creatures escaping the lab into the environment, especially during a building emergancy or natural disaster?
    Thank you, Miss. Hale

       11 likes

  8. Kevin Kaiser says:

    Why cant these genetically engineered mosqiuitos be tested upon the CEO’s their wives and their children first? Better still why do you test a genetically engineered mosquito in an area that doesnt have the disease that the GE mosquito is supposed to eleminate? Any testing of same should be in Asia where the Dengue fever is naturally present, so why test it in Florida where Dengue fever is absent? SOmething is rotten in Denmark.

       21 likes

  9. nelly valla says:

    it,s time for everyone to take a step forward and get involved
    as long as us the people d’ont get together the government will do what they want
    i’ts a question of money and power
    for our government we are just a bunch of guiney pigs that we can be experimented on
    mosquitoes will breed and bites animals and human and they won’t be confined to florida for long

       13 likes

  10. Donna Marquart says:

    This needs to get out in the news. Follow the money. Sounds like another crazy use of genetic modification. Sounds like something Dr. Dufenschmirtz would think of doing. And to the person who is crying for the environmentalists? We are (or should be) all environmentalists – esp. if we live and breathe on this planet. We should ALL be vocal about these issues and any other issue that comes to light because it eventually goes wrong – very wrong. and question what the governmental agencies are doing – my understanding of the United States government is that it is here to PROTECT it’s citizens.

       11 likes

  11. TD says:

    Another consideration is what these mosquitoes are actually carrying. Because they haven’t been properly tested, they could be carrying a plague to wipe out entire communities for all we know. A very scary possibility.

       10 likes

  12. Norma says:

    Can you imagine how many experiments we aren’t aware of? I guess the FDA has to look like they are hard a work using up our surplus tax dollars!

       10 likes

  13. J Dressler says:

    I do not think these untested mosquetos should be released into the environment. If there is an adverse reaction, it would be impossible to recall them.

       11 likes

  14. joe wdwards says:

    How many more ‘experimental’ bugs, fish and animals do we need in the Keys? None have worked to this date. Now we have GE critters to deal with too? When will the Govt stop playing God? Will it really take another ‘African bee’ experiment gone wrong to halt this foolishness? Of course if given a choice, I’d rather be stung to death than die from a backfired experiment. At least it would be quicker!

       13 likes

  15. Laura says:

    This is ridiculous for them to be permitted to do that without the peoples permission or knowledge. It is wrong for big companies to just test out their products on us. Genetically modified plants have not been proven safe let alone genetically modified animals that could most likely spread their genes into the mosquito population as well as how plants have gotten into non gmo crops.

       18 likes

  16. What the ………
    Where are all the so called “Environmentalists” when garbage like this is going on? Home washing their tights! If something like this was being perpetrated on some “animal species” all hell would be breaking loose, but following Agenda 21 guidlines to “de-populate” the Globe, it is perfectly acceptable.

       12 likes

  17. Brenda Gnader says:

    This must not happen. These are GE mosquitoes and have not been tested. These are FRANKEN-MOSQUITOES. God knows best when it comes to nature and everything will affect everything, human beings do not.

    Leave what God does best to God.

       11 likes

  18. Greg Masters says:

    Get this to the media,there is only so much we can do against these nefarious people.

       8 likes

  19. DUGAN says:

    Follow the money, who’s making a profit and if the mosquito is to control Dengue than why do they need to market a drug to go along with it. Look at the Love-bug fiasco in central FL. Releasing anything into the evironment will never have the results of a lab test, to many variables and unknowns to increase the failure or unbeneficial results. A hazard just waiting to happen.
    ALL SHOULD BE SHOUTING ABOUT THIS and More!!

       8 likes

  20. lynn lawler says:

    I strongly oppose any infringemnt on my personal, civil, or, in this case, BASIC human rights. Who gave the government authority to release disease vectors to see “what will happen” when they come into invasive contact with humans and animals!? We have had most of our civil rights taken away, it seems. The only things left us are our basic human rights…universal to all people wherever we live. Now they want to inflict a plague on us…and if it turns out horribly wrong, then what? A big “SORRY”(if that?) Tell that to those who have been injured or killed!!
    We ALL need to let the govenment know that it exists For us, BY us and OF us. The government serves US, not the other way around! If this isn’t anti-American oppression, tell me what is!!

       10 likes

    • Barbara Moss says:

      This is not the first time… it’s been going on for decades… and there is no apology. We the People basically have no choice in the matter. What we can do is take action when available, sign the petitions when they come around. What the powers-that-be understand is votes and money.

         8 likes

  21. Adrienne Rosen says:

    I think it’s a terrible idea to release yellow fever mosquitos to the Keys. I really was thinking of visiting the Key areas, but now, I will not go if those mosquitos are released. That’s a ridiculous idea of the Oxitech company. Why don’t they release the mosquitos in their home town?

       9 likes

  22. Laura Berben says:

    What is the purpose of this test and why can’t it be done in a lab?

       9 likes

  23. Ronald Lemmert says:

    We already have more than enough natural mosquitoes to swat, and we certainly don’t need any of your superbugs!

       7 likes

  24. ross says:

    I disagree with the FDA if they allow the GE mosquitoes to be released in the Florida Keys. We need to let nature to take care of itself. We humans will only make things worse.

       8 likes

  25. Pam LaCroix says:

    We have laws to protect us from invasive species. Look at what has happened in the case of kudzu and pythons. The American south doesn’t need a new mosquito that could have God-knows-what negative consequences. Please don’t allow these organisms into the US. No one knows what negative characteristics they may carry with the one good. Don’t use us as a guinea pig.

       9 likes

  26. Joyce says:

    Hello Floridians- Now that you have been forewarned, you can be prepared. After reading about a simple remedy to reduce the mosquito population, I tried it and found it worked.

    Remedy: Fill a shallow white dish with water and add a few drops of Lemon Joy dish detergent to water. (I used Ajax lemon dish detergent which I happened to have on hand and found it works very well also) The article said no one knew why it worked but mosquitos are often dead within 12 feet of the lemon dish detergent & water. Can’t say how the Lemon Joy works, but I found several dead mosquitos, house flies and a few other insects ( that I couldn’t identify) in my mosquito cocktail itself, but I didn’t search the area within 12 feet of it looking for more. Do be sure to set this where your pets are not likely to drink from it.

    It does make me wonder how safe it is to eat from the dishes we wash in this detergent though!
    But I don’t miss the exercise I used to get from swatting mosquitoes that came inside the house.

       6 likes

  27. Thomas Mirigian says:

    That’s disgusting; I don’t know what else to say. That’s like chemical warfare.

       7 likes

  28. Charla Eastwood says:

    Not good. Interesting how it is a company that is not US based.

    How do we rescind the control we’ve given to the FDA and the USDA?

    This is really a frightening thought…

       7 likes

    • Evits says:

      There is no way to rescind these, same as there has been no way to rescind/recall the killer bees. What REALLY bothers me that we as species seem to have lost our ability to learn from out past mistakes.

         1 likes

  29. Alim Thompson says:

    Releasing GM mosquitoes could be irreversible and should have at least as strong a burden of proof of safety and as any new drugs. When I was a kid, DDT was thought to be safe – we danced in the spray of the truck! What we don’t know, is likely to hurt us.

       6 likes

  30. my 2¢ worth says:

    What is going on with this crap? Doesn’t the FDA/USDA realize their STILL working for the betterment of the population? Just because the supreme court recognizes corporations as people doesn’t mean they get special privileges, get to over rule the safety of the people.. Human guinea pigs? Wasn’t that a Nazi scheme?

       6 likes

  31. Wanda McCarty says:

    no bio engineered mosquitos!

       7 likes

  32. Absolutely irresponsible !!!!!!!!!!

       5 likes

  33. Betty Rinderknecht says:

    How many times have various kinds of insects, reptiles and mammals been imported to eliminate a bad actor only to find the remedy was worse than the ailment? Will this mosquito will be another import that will be difficult or impossible to get rid of after we find it causes more problems than the disease it is supposed to cure? I wish scientist would quit messing around with our environment and our food. Why don’t those people test their mosquitoes on thier own soil and not bring them over here?

       7 likes

  34. Stephanie says:

    Doesn’t Florida have enough issues? It sounds ridiculous.

       6 likes

  35. David Shelton says:

    The whole GMO experiment is opening Pandora’s box, and no one seems to notice, no one seems to care.

       6 likes

  36. Sue Jarrard says:

    I urge and insist that you not use humans as guinea pigs! It is absurd that the U.S. government is even considering the release of bio-genetically engineered mosquitoes, not knowing what the effects will be in the wild, let alone, on humans.

    I urge that you take further consideration before releasing bio-engeneered mosquitoes into the wild. Even considering this is absolutely offensive and uncomprehensible!

    Sue Jarrard

       5 likes

  37. Phyllis B says:

    What about using something used by other countries — like homeopathy?
    Homeopathy is more simple.
    Perhaps there is another more natural possibility.
    This proposed moquito project is more complex and possibly volatile than people need to be burdened with.

       5 likes

  38. Bill Ridgeway says:

    Test your mosquitos somewhere else. We have enough sickness going around here from mesquitos. Maybe we should send some virus carring mesquitos over there. The ones with the flu bug.

       4 likes

  39. Debbie House says:

    This is unacceptable! How can this be possible in this day and age!

       6 likes

  40. Jack says:

    Wow! First the bio-engineers gave us Frankenfish. Now we’re getting Franken mosquitoes. What a shame.

       6 likes

  41. Richard Edlich says:

    It’s hard to believe that the USDA would allow untested mosquitos to be imorted into Florida without a thorough evaluation of the potential dangers to humans. It has become a very frightening country to live in because the USDA and FDA are not reliable at all or carefully monitored.

       5 likes

  42. John R Franz says:

    Stop just Stop

       6 likes

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