A group of 19 local physicians spearheaded by Dr. Jack Norris has signed a petition asking Oxitec to test their GMO mosquitoes for antibiotic resistance before performing an experimental release in the Florida Keys.
Although the letter was delivered in August and has been publicly discussed and debated numerous times since then, Oxitec still refuses to allow Keys doctors (or anyone else) to perform outside testing with their patented GMO mosquito product. The company’s hatching and rearing process, which is to take place in Marathon, relies on tetracycline, which the doctors say may open the mosquitoes up to carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria and transmit it to human beings.
“The issue here is the use of an important antibiotic in what appears to be a new version of the same way farmers created antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria in the past.”
— Dr. Jack Norris, Key West
Although widely touted as a “Zika solution,” Oxitec makes no claim that its product can reduce disease transmission. Doing so would place the company under much stricter testing requirements for human drugs. Instead, Oxitec chose to attempt to license the GMO mosquito as an “animal drug,” which does not require human tests. Dr. Norris and the other physicians who signed this letter believe, along with Citizens for Safe Science, that no GMO mosquito tests should be performed in the Florida Keys without informed human consent and proper medical test protocols.
Your Vote Counts! Vote NO on GMO Mosquitoes on November 8th.
Oxitec’s extensive advertising campaign tries to downplay the importance of the election by calling your vote “non-binding.” Don’t be mislead. Your vote is important and necessary as a major of Mosquito Control District candidates have agreed to abide by the community’s wishes and honor the election results.