Is wiping out deadly mosquitos with sterilization or GMO solution best to combat Zika?


The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

In response to the latest calls for the mosquito’s eradication, researchers have unveiled promising new tactics that include male mosquitoes genetically engineered to interbreed with wild populations and produce offspring that will not survive. Oxitec, a British biotech company, has tested its modified mosquitoes across Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands. Each time, A. aegypti populations reportedly plummeted by more than 90 percent.

Jason Rasgon, an infectious disease entomologist at Penn State, said he sees “no downside” to the sterilization strategy that resembles successful efforts to eradicate the screwworm, a pest that once devastated the livestock industry. In March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a preliminary finding that a trial release of the mosquitoes in the Florida Keys would pose no harm to humans or the environment.

But do we really want to obliterate any broad classification of animal, no matter how threatening they are to humankind? Such was the position of evolutionary biologist Olivia Judson, who famously called in 2003 for a mosquito “specicide” — an idea that acquired other supporters in subsequent years, and particularly now, amid the burgeoning Zika crisis.

But many scientists are repelled by this idea.

“This is another one of these knee-jerk reactions to a new public-health crisis that comes from some species we consider vermin,” said Rick Ostfeld of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York.

Read full, original post: The Allure and Folly of Specicide

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped

Video: We can ‘finally’ grow GMOs—Nigerian farmer explains why developing countries need biotech crops

Nigerian farmer Patience Koku discusses the GMO crop trials she is conducting on her farm, and why growers can "rise ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend