Brazilian scientist called for suspension of GM mosquito trial, said Oxitec treated local population exposed to mosquitoes with contempt
Published: October 2, 2019
Category: GMO News, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
An article in the Brazilian newspaper Rede Brasil Atual said that Dr. José Maria Gusman Ferraz, a member of Brazil’s biosafety commission (CTNBio), which approved the GM mosquito project, called on his fellow regulators to suspend the release of the mosquitoes until further health and environmental impact studies were done. In particular, he highlighted the contempt that he felt Oxitec was displaying towards the safety of the local population, who he says were being reduced to mere guinea pigs.
Dr. Ferraz told Rede Brasil Atual reporter, Cida de de Oliveira, “The commission was warned about the possibility of this mosquito establishing itself permanently in the environment, as well as about crossbreeding between the GM and wild mosquitoes, but most members of the commission completely dismissed these concerns.”
Dr. Ferraz said it isn’t surprising that a commercial company like Oxitec that wants to profit from selling its products may be willing to mislead people or omit unfavorable data. But “What we cannot accept,” he says, is “the lack of scientific ethics” on the part of regulators and their willingness to ignore biosafety concerns and turn local people into guinea pigs, “vulnerable to the negative effects of a technology that has generated hybrids that are possibly resistant to insecticides.”
Reporter Cida de Oliveira wrote: “Without being consulted or even informed about the risks to which they could be exposed, the population of the Pedra Branca district in Jacobina, Brazil was subjected to an experiment conducted between 2013 and 2015” with the authorization of CTNBio.
Sources: GM Watch, Rede Brasil Atual
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