Jul 292016


Dear Editor,

ZIKA is not going away. The big real estate money moguls are pushing hard to make you forget that it is a real and present danger to our community. It is my opinion that they fear for their profits. They push back against high profile efforts to use every safe and effective weapon in the battle against ZIKA. The weapon they oppose is the use of genetic engineering/genetic modification in killing the mosquitoes that spread ZIKA.

On Wednesday, it was revealed that Florida health officials are investigating two more cases of ZIKA infection that are not likely travel related. Now there are at least four. The cases are in Dade and Broward counties. Most of our weekenders come to us from Dade and Broward. And, don’t forget that ZIKA can be transmitted by sexual contact. Not that’s ever any casual sexual contact in the Keys on weekends.

The Miami Herald reports that 17 new ZIKA cases have been reported in Florida last Wednesday. Florida has the second highest number of ZIKA cases reported in any state. The lion’s share of Florida’s cases are in Dade and Broward.

The FDA has decreed that the use of genetic modification/genetic engineering in vector control presents, at worst, only minimal risk. But still, politicos on the Mosquito Control Board are refusing to use GM/GE even though it has been proven to be safe and effective in field tests in other nations.

More than 400 pregnant women in the continental United States have evidence of ZIKA virus infection, and 12 infants have been born with birth defects linked to ZIKA infections in their mothers

Election time is just around the corner. Two Board politicos who have been largely responsible for the refusal to use all safe and effective weapons in fighting ZIKA are standing for reelection. They are Steve Smith and Jill Craney Gage. Smith has been on the Board for two decades…nonetheless he wants in …again. Ms. Craney Gage has been on the board for one term.

Big real estate is counting on their reelection in their cynical efforts to protect profits. Don’t let it happen.

Walter Lagraves
Big Pine Key

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 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #177, Letter to the Editor  Add comments

  3 Responses to “Zika Is Not Going Away”

  1. I disagree that GMO mosquitoes are “safe and effective”. Nothing of the sort has been proven. Oxitec claims mosquito populations were reduced to 10% of previous in Brazil through the use of their “creation”, yet Dengue fever cases doubled in the same time period. Clearly, something is not “safe and effective” about curbing disease with GMO insects.
    If you exterminated all Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the world, Zika would still spread via sex as it is viable much longer in semen than mosquitoes and DEET offers no protection at all from a sexual proboscis. If you are getting pregnant, chances are good that condoms are not part of your sexual practice.
    Zika has never been a significant threat in all its known 70+ year existence until the last year. Now its a panic. What changed? Oh yeah, GMO mosquitoes became available from a mega-company and heavily promoted. Got logic?

  2. I’m with you, Halloween. That dengue spike in Brazil AFTER Oxitec’s mutated mosquitoes were released JUMPED right out at me, as did NO explanation for the JUMP in dengue cases in Brazil.

    I saw this morning on TV news that Miami is no longer taking blood donations because of Zika threat.

    I wonder how the Republicans and Tea Party and the Pope are going to spasm over pregnant women infected with Zika demanding abortions, for free, compliments US Government?

    I wonder if that’s going on in Brazil, compliments Brazilian government?

    What woman infected with Zika would want to bring her baby to term? I saw on TV the other night a story of a Zika baby being born and it will cost estimated $11 million to care for that baby during its life.

    Cost cutting in our own mosquito control agency led to cut backs of boots on the ground and increases in Aedes mosquitoes in areas where they hang out, Key West is a favorite place for them due to the city’s expansive tree canopy, skeeter control board member Steve Smith told me; and aerial spraying of insecticide not very effective there because Aedes hide under tree leaves during the day. Smith said, if there is a GMO skeeter test release, it should be in Key West, because not so many Aedes on Stock Island or at Key Haven. Or up the Keys.

    You and I know how right of right Walt Lagraves is, a devout Republican. It must be twisting his innards something awful trying to figure a way to blame President Obama for Congress not putting up the money for GMO skeeter testing in America.

    If I were King of America, I would quarantine Puerto Rico, which is in serious tango with Zika, and I would ask the Chinese to kindly cover Puerto Rico with their version of mutated Aedes and let’s see how that goes. Maybe the Chinese would be delighted to be given that chance, and do it for free, or bargain basement, to gain a foothold in America and the Americas.

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