by Walter Lagraves…….

Dear Editor:

As of 10/13 The Florida Department of Health was reporting on 1,014 known cases of ZIKA in Florida. More than 10% of those cases involve pregnant women. That’s only the “known” cases. 80% of cases are asymptomatic. It was only about a week ago that they were reporting on 980 known cases. The count has more than doubled in the last 60 days.

Last week it was reported that even more ZIKA infected mosquitoes had been trapped in Miami.

ZIKA is not at our door step. ZIKA is in our homes. The ZIKA mosquito is called the rat of mosquitoes because of the difficulty in wiping it out.

And still our FKMCD dithers.

The anti GMM crowd is ramping up its hysteria, its hyperbole, and its falsehoods. Now they are now engaging in bullying. I believe that many of them are Anti simply for the sake of being Anti. After all…being “Anti” is so very stylish these days.

The leaders are aggressively seeking to deny the people of Monroe County a safe and effective method of combating the spread of disease. ZIKA is but one of the horrible tropical diseases that is spread by the AE mosquito. Their motive is simple. Profit! They are convinced that GMM will harm property values of a select few. We know this to be true, because it has been admitted.

A great deal has been made of the “NO CONSENT” signs that we see scattered about in Key Haven. The reality is that many of those signs were put in place so as not to draw the ire of the anti GMM people. Many were put in place so as to “go along to get along.” No one wants to anger a bullying neighbor. There are reports of the anti GMM people aggressively acting out against people who are supportive of protecting the public health by being in favor of the use of GMM in vector control.

We know for stock certain that the anti GMM crowd, the Save Our Skeeters people, will brook no dissent, will tolerate no questions, and will strike out at any and all who have the temerity to ask hard questions of them. in the anti GMM FaceBook groups dissension or questioning is squashed. The managers of those groups kick out those who dissent. We know that because I have personally been banned from participating in such groups.

They fear the truth. They fear it because they do not have the truth on their side. They obfuscate and twist facts.

For example: The anti GMM “Save Our Skeeter” groups have railed that Oxitec, in some nefarious fashion, attempted to evade or manipulate the federal governments approval of the Oxitec process. The truth is that Oxitec did not select the federal agency that vetted its process….those agencies, the FDA, the EPA, the CVN, and the USDA were the agencies with jurisdiction. Only those specific agancies had jurisdiction. Those agencies determined that the process was safe, but only after a multidisciplinary examination of the process. The process is safe.

Another example of their hysterical nonsense is their ludicrous fear mongering that “IF” a human “MIGHT” get bitten by one of the tiny number of GM females that are to be released; then, “MAYBE” some roque GMM protein “MIGHT” be transmitted to a human. Friends, anything is possible…the world might come to an end tomorrow. But the odds against it are brobdingnagian. It beggars belief but they actually use the fantasy of Jurassic Park in their propaganda. They insult your intelligence.

We can’t ignore the hypocrisy of the anti GMM, the Save Our Skeeters crew. They wail, and tear their hair at the notion of persons supporting public health by the use of GMO vector control being involved with a PAC. And yet….they have their own organizations that routinely publish slick propaganda and flood social media. They are masters at the black art of propaganda.

They try to tout you on the Wolbachia process. That process may or may not be a viable weapon. We just don’t yet know. But we do know that even if the go ahead were to be given tomorrow. The process could not be in place before April 2017. The GMM process can be started within 30 days of the go ahead. I think that waiting puts us a risk. And given the anti GMM preoccupation with the Wolbachia process, one should ask what is motivating their focus, their obsession. Given that they accuse the FKMCB of backroom dealing…one must also question the anti GMM crowd’s motivation. You should also consider that fact that many of the complaints that the anti GMM folks voice are also extant in the Wolbachia process.

If you care about public health, if you care about the unborn, then in the privacy of the voting booth please vote for the use of GMM to protect our community from the ravages of tropic mosquito borne disease.


Walter Lagraves, Big Pine Key



THURSDAY, 10/13/16 7:50PM

Governor Scott revealed today that there is yet another new ZIKA transmission zone in Miami-Dade County. The Governor stated that the need for federal assistance in combating the ZIKA vector is “urgent.”

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