GeneWatch UK released an updated report on Oxitec’s releases of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes in the Cayman Islands. The report cites new information regarding ineffectiveness and risks, including the annual report of the project, recently released as a result of a Freedom of Information request.
The annual report was not available to the National Conservation Council (NCC) at its June 4th meeting, when it approved an island-wide roll-out of GM mosquito releases.
The new information shows that the releases have been ineffective and large numbers of biting female GM mosquitoes have been released.
“Plans to roll-out Oxitec’s GM mosquito releases island-wide must be halted whilst this new information is properly considered”, said Dr Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch UK, “Oxitec’s GM technology is failing in the field and poses unnecessary risks. Islanders’ money should not be thrown away on an approach which has not been successful.”
The new information shows:
There remains no evidence that the GM mosquito releases reduce the risk of transmission of dengue, zika or chikungunya.
The GeneWatch report has been sent to all members of the Cayman Islands Government.