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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