by Elizabeth Crawford
Elizabeth Crawford is a rising senior at Hillsdale
College studying politics.
member of The American Spectator's 2023 intern class,
Elizabeth enjoys drinking good tea and plans to pursue a
career in journalism.
Mosquitoes on an insect net
mosquitoes a week,
all for the
Bill Gates funds the world's
largest mosquito factory in Medellin, Colombia - which is part of
the World Mosquito Program - and releases "thousands" of altered
mosquitoes per week
using gelatin capsules, drones, and motorcycles.
World Mosquito Program's goal
"to protect the
global community from mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue,
Zika, yellow fever, and chikungunya."
The most deadly of
those diseases - dengue - infects
an estimated 400 million people, with 40,000 fatal cases per
the World Health Organization notes that,
majority of cases are asymptomatic or mild and self-managed, and
hence the actual numbers of dengue cases are under-reported."
Mosquito Program releases
these mosquitoes in 11 countries, including Brazil, Colombia,
Mexico, and Australia.
the CEO of the World Mosquito Program, says that the
program focuses on mosquitoes such as
Aedes aegypti, which thrives,
waste and plastic containers," has a "strong resistance to
pesticides" and "loves big cities and has spread across the
world's tropical and subtropical diseases."
O'Neill says that
the World Mosquito Program is using a bacteria called
Wolbachia to prevent the spread
of these viruses.
Wolbachia a medical miracle is the fact that when it is
introduced to Aedes aegypti, it effectively blocks the capacity
of many of the viruses that can make people sick from growing in
the mosquito," said O'Neill,
according to Gates Philanthropy Partners.
"If the viruses
can't replicate, they can't be transmitted to humans."
According to an
article published by the
Lancet, the Wolbachia bacterium also controls mosquito
populations, depending on the species type.
"If a male
mosquito infected with wolbachia mates with an uninfected
female, the eggs will not hatch," author Talha Burki writes.
"If an infected
female mates with an uninfected male, the offspring will be
infected, as will be the case if both parents are infected."
Burki also notes
that it only takes a few generations for domestic mosquitoes to be
contaminated by the bacteria.
In America, World
Mosquito Program's sister program, Oxitec, has also been releasing
altered mosquitoes, but instead of using the Wolbachia bacterium,
Oxitec genetically modified its mosquitoes.
self-limiting gene is at the heart of the Oxitec method of pest
control and is tuned to work optimally in each target species,"
Oxitec's website states.
Friendly™ males are released and reproduce with pest females,
their offspring inherit a copy of the self-limiting gene."
According to the
website, protein overproduction,
insect's normal development and ability to survive to
Smithsonian magazine daily
Osborne noted back in March of 2022 that pilot groups of these
mosquitoes had already been released in the Florida Keys and that
even larger groups would be released on the U.S. mainland.
Environmental Protection Agency has cleared the release of 2.4
billion genetically-modified mosquitoes in California and
Florida," Osborne writes.
natives have expressed concern about the release of genetically
modified mosquitoes, especially ones that carry a lethal,
according to Nature reporter
the Florida field trial has been fierce from some residents in
the Keys," Waltz writes.
being bitten by the mosquitoes or that the insects will disrupt
the Florida ecosystem - and generally unhappy about being chosen
as a test site - some have threatened to derail the experiments
by spraying insecticides near the release points."
including Dana Perls, senior food and technology campaigner
Friends of the Earth, have expressed their concern with
genetically modifying mosquitoes.
"We must ensure
that corporations and governments (particularly militaries) are
not developing gene drives and cannot misuse this technology in
ways that could have profound ecological, health, or
socio-economic impacts," Perls wrote.
"There must be
strict regulations on lab research, especially given the risk of
accidental escape of gene drive organisms, even from high
such as presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., doubt
the intentions of Gates' efforts.
Gates be releasing 30 million genetically modified mosquitoes
into the wild?"
possibly 'go wrong'...?" (sic...)