UN Biosafety Guidelines Responsible for Infected Mosquitoes

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 07/04/2012 - 6:04pm.

mosquito-dengue-disease

In Boston, Massachusetts, sample mosquitoes have tested positive for the West Nile Virus (WNV), according to health officials at the May Clinic. Mosquitoes bite birds, become infected with the virus, and then transfer it to humans.

More mosquitoes have been found to contain the WNV in Northern Virginia, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Kim Mitchell, monitor of WNV for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said: "Pretty much anywhere there is as little as a quarter of inch of standing water is enough for a female mosquito to lay her eggs. That can happen anywhere - any county, any ZIP code."

In 2011, researchers admitted that they released genetically engineered mosquitoes (GEM) into the Florida Keys areas. They claimed that they were attempting to control the natural mosquito population with the GEM who would kill their own kind by injecting diseases like malaria and dengue fever.

These diseases, however, are deadly to humans and the researchers' excuses make little sense.

Coleen Fitzsimmons, spokesperson for the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District said: "It's a more ecologically friendly way to control mosquitoes than spraying insecticides."

The first experiment with GEM took place in the Cayman Islands, Caribbean back in 2009 with an international scientific community from Oxitec, led by Luke Alphey, who conducted the experiment prior to local authority approval. Alphey raised money for his research to suppress and eradicate "pests" in the natural world. He perfected the sterilization of insects in the wild.

Oxitec created Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the species that transmit yellow fever and dengue, and genetically engineered them to kill before releasing them into the wild.

Anthony A. James, of the University of California, Irvine continued the work on GEM, perfecting the genetic modification process. The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, a US government research agency, provided testing grounds in Mexico for research to continue.

In Australia, the release of dengue infected mosquitoes was sanctioned by the government in an attempt to control the mosquito population. In two towns, an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 mosquitoes were released by Oxitec, in another beta test in the field of genetically engineered mutant insects.

Dengue fever, being a severely dangerous virus which causes high fever, migraines, ocular pain, rashes and painful inflammation of joints and the spinal cord is also known as "break bone fever." Extreme cases of dengue fever cause hemorrhagic fever.

The World Health Organization, providing guidelines on how field tests should be conducted for genetically modified insects, wanted to have control over experiments to protect their research from opposition as they have encountered with their use of biotechnological crops.

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety explains how genetic modifications on living organisms are different from country to country.

Because of this, the UN ratified an agreement at the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2003 and created the Ad Hoc Technical Group on Risk Assessment to manage the genetically engineered mosquitoes.

Regulations on GEM are defined by the UN that supersede the laws of individual nations.

WHO and the United National Development Program are providing guidelines supported by experts in the MosqGuide which are supported by Oxitec.

This document explains the UN's expectations on biosafety, regulations, ethical, social and cultural implications of the deployment of genetically modified mosquitoes into designated "endemic" countries.

Funding for this project is provided by WHO's Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases.

 

Susanne Posel - July 4, 2012 - ActivistPost

 

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 07/04/2012 - 6:04pm.