GM mosquito release in Brazil causes dengue emergency, despite being touted as preventive tool

Monday, July 14, 2014
By Paul Martin

by: David Gutierrez
NaturalNews.com
Monday, July 14, 2014

A genetically modified (GM) mosquito intended to eradicate dengue fever may have actually contributed to an epidemic of the disease in Brazil, civil society organizations have warned.

“It is extraordinary that experiments with Oxitec’s GM mosquitoes continue and commercial releases have even been approved without any monitoring of the effect on dengue,” said Dr. Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch UK. “The declaration of a dengue emergency in Jacobina should be a wake-up call for the authorities.”

Critics predicted “rebound effect”

The GM mosquitoes were developed by British company Oxitec and commercialized in Brazil in partnership with Moscamed Brazil and the University of Sao Paulo. They are all males of the species Aedes aegypti, the only variety of mosquito that transmits the disease dengue fever. Oxitec claims that, when the GM mosquitoes are released into the wild, they will mate with females. Because the males carry a gene that leads to the death of all their offspring, this should lead to a drop in mosquito numbers in regions where the GM insects are released.

Oxitec claims that this, in turn, will reduce rates of dengue fever.

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