Dear Editor:

Following my past Letter to Editor, I authored a 2,000+ word article in TheBluePaper.com outlining additional research and questioning why GMO mosquitoes are even considered. I continued my research, wondering why Zika suddenly became serious enough to spark recent media hysteria and predictions of epidemics. I found some disturbing correlations that suggest all thoughts of GMO mosquito release should be abandoned.

Consider the cause of the Zika epidemic a mystery to be solved. Here are some clues:

The Zika virus was isolated by Rockefeller Foundation researchers in 1947 in African monkeys.  It has since been detected everywhere. Until Brazil’s epidemic, Zika was never linked to any serious malady. In 2012, Brazil tested Oxitec’s Oxi513A engineered mosquito species as a means to decimate their native population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, thereby  hopefully curbing Dengue Fever. The native mosquitoes were reduced, but Dengue dramatically increased.  Zika and microcephaly simultaneously  became commonplace.

A small percentage of Oxi513A biting females are included in releases (millions are sorted by hand as larvae). A small percentage of Oxi513A naturally survive the “kill gene” and 5X as many survive with exposure to mere traces of tetracycline, such as the residual in chicken meat or wastewater. Tetracycline is a “switch” that disables the kill gene. The survivors are not sterile- they breed more Oxi513A and hybrids, but the “kill gene” may not be active (fatal genetics evolve out quickly). The gut bacteria in the tetracycline-exposed survivors have antibiotic resistance.

Oxi513A is created using “transposons”, also called “jumping genes” for their ability to replace genetic fragments. The original discovery of transposons identified mobile genetic elements in bacteria that could confer multiple drug resistances.  Japanese researchers discovered that the drug resistance phenotype was inherited and able to be transmitted in an infectious manner, even to other species.  Oxi513A is created using E.coli bacteria and Herpes Simplex virus fragments.  Some theorize that Oxi513A’s gut may be a more hospitable environment for contagions, carrying and allowing more virulent strains to evolve. Thus, formally nuisance Zika became dangerous.  Sound possible?

John Prosser, Big Pine

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