When the news started to spread about a plan to release genetically engineered mosquitoes in the Florida Keys, it seemed laughable…I don’t see that reaction much anymore. A [recent] poll…found that 60 percent of Florida residents support tweaking mosquitoes’ genes to fight diseases, while 30 percent opposed. This isn’t statistical noise: Polls are consistently finding that big majorities of Americans support the idea.
What happened? In a word, Zika. It was the accumulation of those pictures of babies with Zika-related microcephaly, the news that Zika-carrying mosquitoes are buzzing around Miami, and the realization that climate change will usher the disease farther north.
This can all be explained by what I’ll call…the self-centeredness principle of risk perception…The benefits of any change are distributed unevenly and when the benefits are centered mostly on others, or diffused among many, it’s easy for me embrace a scary, sci-fi scenario as a reason for opposition. But if it becomes clear that I stand to benefit, I’ll want to know how likely those scenarios really are….
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Americans love genetically modified mosquitoes much more than other GMOs