Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

January 26, 2015

Floridian Lab Rats

A female aedes-albopictus
Picture credit: CDC

If you are coming to Florida any time soon, you may wish to avoid our lovely lower Keys.
But, why you may ask?
They are the most breathtaking place in this state, so what could possibly make you want to avoid them?
Well, how do you feel about millions of Frankenstein mosquitoes that could be turned loose there, if the FDA approves it?
It seems that the years of overuse of pesticides has made local insects nearly immune to most of them now.
So, enter Oxitec and their cuddly little GMO mosquitoes
The thinking is that they will breed with and then wipe out the locals who cause two vicious viruses, that are presently, without cure or vaccines, and quite well spread throughout the Caribbean area.
These viruses are,  chikungunya and dengue and yes, the affected  area does include parts of Southern Florida.
The FDA is the same organization that has never seemed to be able to say no to Monsanto, or their kinfolk, who rule the chemical world.
So, my guess is that they will get an instant approval to plow ahead.
As one who has opposed GMO’s since their inception and eats organic as much as possible, I find this all quite disturbing, as we simply have no idea of the danger or consequences posed by this insect, if we are bitten by one of  them.
It is odd that we could not do this in America, we had to go to the British for these adorable little GMO mosquitoes.
They, Oxitec, has already taken 70 million of these cute little guys on the road in the recent past to the Cayman Islands and elsewhere.
So why should you/we fear these tiny, little blood suckers?
Could it be the toxic soup that they originate from, like herpes simplex and E. coli?
These new mosquitoes will breed with the locals and cause massive extinction, they say, they hope.
Aye, but there’s the rub, dear readers.
What happens to the warm-blooded humans, pets and others, in the release areas, if they are bitten by a GMO insect?
They are not talking much about that.
My question, only one of many, what do the local Floridians think about this?
Better yet, how many were at a recent meeting, if they even knew about it?
A petition at Change.org has collected 130,000 signatures against this potential madness and I would truly love to hear what those in the drop zone have to say about what could be released into their back yards this spring.
Unless this British bug invasion is stopped in its tracks, we Floridians will soon become the first US mosquito lab rats.
Places to learn more:
Aedes albopictus
The Change.org Petition:  Say No
Millions of GMO insects could be released in Florida Keys
Action Alert: Keep Genetically Modified (GM) Mosquitoes Out of Key Haven FL
Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Coming to Florida
Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to be Released in the US for the First Time
Millions of GMO mosquitoes may be released in Florida neighborhood


  1. Yikes! Sound like the premise for a bad sci-fi thriller or the recipe for disaster.
    I think we all know that insects are destined to rule the planet... If this is humanities idea of good stewardship it's probably just as well :\

    1. Thank you Mike.
      What concerns me the most about this is the lack of transparency by the company and others involved.
      No one is talking about the potential for negative impact, if and when these GMO mosquitos bite.
      And they will be biting all warm blooded species, including humans.
      This possibility for Global affect is looming.
      Will we look back one day at this time and ask why we allowed this to happen?