EPA facing criticism for how it handled program
Millions of GMO mosquitoes funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are to be released in California and Florida, according to reports.
The EPA greenlit the release of the GMO mosquitos as part of a “pilot program” to crowd out natural mosquitos in selected areas of the two states.
“The mosquitoes were made by UK-based biotechnology firm Oxitec, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in an effort to combat insect-borne diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever, and the Zika virus,” reported the Epoch Times. “According to Oxitec, its ‘sustainable and targeted biological pest control technology does not harm beneficial insects like bees and butterflies and is proven to control the disease-transmitting Aedes aegypti mosquito, which has invaded communities in Florida, California, and other U.S. states.’”
The pilot program in Florida, which was given a head start last year, has faced backlash from residents who criticized the EPA’s response.
“The EPA did not require peer review or basic preliminary caged trials in Florida and Texas and excluded adequate public comment by not posting relevant documents when they approved the trial,” said Jaydee Hanson, Policy Director for the International Center for Technology Assessment and Center for Food Safety.
Others felt the EPA didn’t consider unintended consequences.
“In March, a panel of independent experts testified to the Florida Keys mosquito board that GE mosquitoes could also pose significant threats to sensitive ecosystems and human populations in the Florida Keys,” reported the Daily Mail.