Last Stand: Vote NO on GM Mosquito Trial

Last stand logo cropped

Dear Editor,

Last Stand recommends citizens vote NO on the non-binding polls about using genetically modified mosquitoes in an effectiveness trial in Monroe County that appear at the end of the November 8th ballot.

Three prior trials have shown significant reduction in Ae.aegypti mosquitoes that can transmit disease to humans. But that is all those trials measured. The introduction of these mosquitoes into the United States will not allow Monroe County or the FDA to learn anything from the Oxitec experiment about the impacts to humans, or wildlife and birds that live and feed in the trial area that is adjacent to the Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge.

In April 2016, Last Stand submitted comments to the draft environmental assessment of the impact of using the Oxitec product OX531A genetically modified mosquito. We expressed concerns regarding impacts to wildlife in the refuge and requested a more thorough examination of this risk be included in an environmental impact statement. We also requested that a public health agency have oversight over the testing so that a comprehensive analysis of impacts to humans and wildlife over an extended period of time could be prepared. The environmental assessment and testing protocols were not modified to address these requests. To date, we have only heard Oxitec dismiss these concerns as irrelevant.

Today, we do not have a way to evaluate unintended consequences of the Oxitec experiment. If the experiment is performed, the United States still will only have hearsay evidence of consequences to humans and habitat surrounding the test area. Monroe County voters (and citizens throughout the United States) deserve a better return for accepting the risks associated with this genetically modified mosquito experiment. That’s why Last Stand is recommending a NO vote on this non-binding poll.

Mark E. Songer, President
Last Stand

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.