Do not release genetically engineered mosquitoes into the wilds of Florida
This petition had 200 supporters
Oxitec is planning to release a batch of genetically modified mosquitoes into the Florida Keys based on experiments they've previously conducted in both the Cayman Islands and Malaysia. The modifications of the mosquitoes include a gene that causes them to die before adulthood if they go without treatment from an antibiotic (tetracycline). When the GM insects mate with wild mosquitoes, the gene is passed on to the next generation, eventually wiping out the population of an entire species in the surrounding area. Not only does this disrupt the already fragile ecosystem of the Florida Everglades, but it's being done without the consent of the people already living there.
Oxitec is not required to inform the tens of thousands of people in southern Florida that a tampering of a major aspect of the natural order would take place right outside their front porch. Not only should the company be required to inform the people (with all the facts included) but garner majority consent from the population to conduct this dangerous and short-sighted experiment.
The possiblity of wiping out an entire insect species is high in this experiment and it could lead to the loss of the mammalian and marine life that feeds on the mosquitoes and their larvae. It isn't just the animals though; livelihoods of those who depend on the fish as a means to make a living could see their way of life destroyed by the loss of the insect species.
Friends of Earth have also released a great issue brief about the experiment. You can view the PDF file here.
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