Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

GM mosquito release in Malaysia surprises opponents and scientists—again

Even scientists were surprised by the release of GM mosquitoes in Malaysia, reports sciencemag.org of The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)*.

Medical entomologist Bart Knols of the University of Amsterdam worries that surprises such as the releases in Grand Cayman and Malaysia may erode public trust and provide anti-GM groups with ammunition.

Helen Wallace of the advocacy group GeneWatch UK says the lack of communication does little to instill confidence in Oxitec.

10 things you should know about GM mosquitoes

 
mosquitoesThe National Biosafety Board (NBB) has recently approved an application from the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) to release genetically modified (GM) male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. IMR wants to conduct field experiments in Bentong and Alor Gajah to see how far the males fly and how long they live for.

The aim of this GM technology is for the GM male mosquitoes to mate with wild female mosquitoes. They are genetically modified so that most of their offspring die before becoming adults. The hope is that this will reduce the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which carry the dengue virus, and hence reduce incidences of dengue fever.