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Critical vote on the GM mosquito

mosquitos_transgenicos_reproducaoAS-PTA | Rio de Janeiro, 22/08/2014

In april of 2014 the Brazilian regulator Comissão Técnica Nacional de Biossegurança (CTNBio) concludes risk assessment on commercial release of GM Mosquito OX513, technology proposed by Moscamed Brazil in partnership with the English company Oxitec and the Universidade de São Paulo.

During the evaluation, a CTNBio member had presented a report with information questioning the impact of the GM mosquitoes on the incidence of dengue and warning that in some circumstances the releases could make the disease worse, even if the number of wild Aedes aegypti mosquitoes was reduced. The whole argumentative document is available here. The concerns raised did not convince the majority of the Commission, and GM mosquito commercial released was approved.

The promise is to commercialize genetically modified mosquitoes that would end dengue, but results from field trials conducted in Bahia, Brazil have not been published to date and did not evaluate the relation between Aedes aegypti mosquito populations and the occurrence of dengue. On the other hand, the town in Brazil where releases of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes took place is still suffering to increasing dengue incidence, leading to an emergency decree renewing the state of emergency “due to the abnormal situation characterized as a biological disaster of dengue epidemic”.

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