Say No to Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Release in the Florida Keys

Right now, a British company named Oxitec is planning to release genetically modified mosquitoes into the fragile enviroment of the Florida Keys. The company wants to use the Florida Keys as a testing ground for these mutant bugs. Even though the local community in the Florida Keys has spoken -- we even passed an ordinance demanding more testing -- Oxitec is trying to use a loophole by applying to the FDA for an "animal bug" patent. This could mean these mutant mosquitoes could be released at any point against the wishes of locals and the scientific community. We need to make sure the FDA does not approve Oxitec's patent. Nearly all experiments with genetically-modified crops have eventually resulted in unintended consequences: superweeds more resistant to herbicides, mutated and resistant insects also collateral damage to ecosystems. A recent news story reported that the monarch butterfly population is down by half in areas where Roundup Ready GM crops are doused with ultra-high levels of herbicides that wipe out the monarch's favorite milkweed plant. What about our native species of Florida Keys Bats. Are there any studies being conducted to see if these mosquitoes will harm the native bat population? Why would we not expect GM (genetically modified) insects, especially those that bite humans, to have similar unintended negative consequences? Will the more virulent Asian tiger mosquito that also carries dengue fill the void left by reductions in A. aegypti? Will the dengue virus mutate (think antibiotic resistant MRSA) and become even more dangerous? There are more questions than answers and we need more testing to be done. Will the public be able to stop this program from happening if we don't want it? We were told that "public opinion would be taken into account." Dengue fever has been absent from the Florida Keys for years, which indicates the current methods of control and public education are working. What's the rush for this radical approach? Where is the third-party, peer-reviewed research on effectiveness and safety of GM mosquitoes other than Oxitec's own claims of success? Don't let Oxitec bully our community! We say no to genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys!
This petition will be delivered to:
  • Commisioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services
    Adam H Putman
  • Florida Division Technology Officer of Agricultural Enviromental Services
    Carol Leger
  • Senior Entomologist
    Lawrence J. Hribard PhD (Senior Entomologist)
  • Deputy Director FKMCD Management
    Andrea Leal (Deputy Director FKMCD Management)
  • Commisoner
    Phillip Goodman
  • Commisioner
    Jill Cranney Gage
  • Secretary-Treasurer
    Stephen K Smith (Secretary-Treasurer)
  • Mosquito Board of Commisioner
    Chairman William J Shaw (Chairman, Mosquito Board of Commisioner)
  • Director, Florida Keys Mosquito Control District Management
    Michael Doyle
  • Biologist/Public Relations
    Beth Ranson
  • Monroe County Commissioner District 1
    Danny Kolhage
  • Director of the Department of Agriculture and Environmental.
    Anderson H. (Andy) Racley
  • Congresswoman
    Ileana Ross- Lehtinen
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    Curtis Allen
  • Monroe County Commissioner District 2
    George Neugent
  • Monroe County Commissioner District 3
    Heather Carruthers
  • Monroe County Commissioner District 4
    David Rice
  • Monroe County Commissioner District 5
    Sylvia Murphy
  • Monroe County Administrator
    Roman Gastesi Jr.
  • Florida Director of Agricultural Enviromental Services
    Anderson H. (Andy) Rackley
  • Florida Assistant Director of Agricultural Enviromental Services
    Steven E. Dwinell
  • Florida Government Analyst I of Agricultural Enviromental Services
    Angela Weeks-Samanie
  • Florida Bureau Chief, Bureau of Compliance Monitoring of Agricultural Enviromental Services
    Kelly Friend
  • Florida Bureau Chief, Bureau of Agricultural Environmental Laboratories
    Patricia Lucas
  • Commissioner
    Tom McDonald, Commissioner
  • FDA Director, Center for Veterinary Medicine
    Dr. Bernadette Dunham
  • Lt. Governor Of Florida
    Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez- Cantera
  • Governor of Florida
    Governor Rick Scott

Mila de Mier started this petition with a single signature, and now has 170,294 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.