6 co-authors of controversial study that raised alarms about Oxitec’s GMO mosquito release in Brazil call for paper’s retraction

mosquito NationalGeographic
Credit: JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

[The public] was alarmed in mid-September when an article published in the Scientific Reports pointed to the presence in Bahia [in Brazil] of genetically modified and native mosquito hybrids. The reason for the alarm is easy to understand: as it was written, scientific work implies that the mixture between the two types of mosquito may have generated a kind of disease-bearing super insect.

More alarmed was Margareth Capurro, a professor at USP’s Institute of Biomedical Sciences (ICB), who co-authored the article. The researcher claims not to have participated – much less approved – in the final writing or publication of the work. Most Brazilian authors (six of a total of eight) filed for retraction of the article on September 20, shortly after finding, according to Capurro, that the published text was not faithful to the results presented by the group, and that the original wording had been changed.

Related article:  How The Non-GMO Project Is Adapting To A Gene-Edited World

The USP researcher agrees with the large number of critics of the work, within the scientific community …. A crucial sentence was missing from the text published by Scientific Reports: there are no transgenic mosquitoes in the sky of Bahia! It also failed to say that any hybrid mosquitoes found today in the Bahian city of Jacobina pose no danger to the population ….

[Editor’s note: This article was originally published in Portuguese and has been translated and lightly edited for clarity.]

Read full, original article: Coauthor repudiates controversial article on transgenic mosquitoes

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