The debate about genetic engineering has long been in the headlines. Much of the debate about genetic engineering concerns food production. Many food companies use genetic modifications to make crops resistant to rotting and pesticides. In recent years, genetic modification of animals for food and non-food purposes has become an equally controversial topic. Such debates are raging right now because of mosquitoes and the island town of Ke West.
Recently, the British company Oxitec, specializing in genetically modified insects, released a mosquito in Kee West, Florida, which will hopefully reduce the risk of contracting dengue virus in this area. Dengue fever is a particularly unpleasant disease, which is very unpleasant for the patient.
The South Florida and Caribbean region are areas where dengue fever has been prevalent in recent years. The current mosquito control plan is based on the use of pesticides and attempts to chemically kill a particular species of dengue-carrying mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are native to Africa and can tolerate yellow fever, dengue fever and other diseases.
The method that Oxitec uses to suppress the mosquito population is a modified version of the sterile insect method developed in the 1930s and 1940s. In this process, the company sterilizes a large number of male insects of the same breed, and then releases them into the wild. Once in the wild, these mosquitoes mate with females and have no offspring or offspring that would not survive.
Oxitec has already tried its method in several other places and has succeeded in reducing the number of mosquitoes in these areas. Greater Cayman and Brazil adopted this mosquito control policy, and their population declined by 80 and 90 percent respectively.
Some People in Ki-West and environmentalists are outraged by the proposal. In fact, the outrage has spread to 100,000 signatures on a petition Change in hopes of attracting the attention of Florida Governor Rick Scott and a host of other local politicians.
The Oxitec opposition, led by a Ki-West resident and mother of three, Mila de Mayer, disputes that there is no evidence of the possible consequences of releasing genetically modified insects into the environment. Mila de Meer, who formed the petition, is extremely active on the main liberal petition site.
The petition gained momentum after it was covered by national news sources from online publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, CNN Blog and other sources trusted by many readers.
Many criticize the fact that the majority of signatures on the petition came not from residents of the region, but from environmentalists from all over the country. Despite this, many residents of The West city opposed the Oxitec initiative. Many people claim that the Oxitec method is much more environmentally friendly than the use of pesticides to treat mosquito problems.
Although Oxitec argues that these methods are harmless and proven to be effective, residents have the right to express their opinions on how to interact with their local ecosystem. One of the questions is what companies should do in this sensitive situation. In addition, the government must decide whether the method is appropriate for the community. Oxitec, which has projects in France and other regions, could implement other projects before Ki-West. This could help the company investigate the safety and efficacy of the method in calming the minds of the People of Ki West.