The Mosquito Control Board is “fiddling while Rome burns.” They should authorize the GMO test immediately.
I just returned from Europe where all my friends asked if it was still safe to come to the Keys. [This week], the Miami Herald documents the economic impact already felt in Miami in just a few weeks.
A word about regulators: In Europe, Naled–used here in Monroe–is banned as too risky. Monroe’s beekeeper’s would agree. The impact on humans? Probably unknowable right now. Are America’s or Europe’s regulators smarter? We don’t know.
What we do know: Oxitec has released GMO mosquitos in Brazil, Panama, and the Cayman Islands. Does anyone have any evidence of negative impact on humans? There is certainly evidence of fewer mosquitos. Are Keys mosquitos so different than mosquitos in those countries that we need separate tests? Some expert biologists could study that while we prevaricate.
So, what do citizens want? Naled? GMO mosquitos? All decisions have to be balanced and have risks, but Monroe needs to be seen as trying everything, with a sense of urgency, right now.
I will vote for incumbents or new candidates for Mosquito Control Board who support launching the GMO test now, and not wait for the results of two disparate ballot items in November.