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"Dedicated to the Protection and Restoration of Florida Keys Ecosystems"


Petitioning The U.S. Senate 

Say No to Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Release in the Florida Keys

    1. Mila de Mier
    2.  
    3. Petition by

      Mila de Mier

      Key West, FL

  1.  
  2.  

Sign the Petition HERE 

Right now, a British company named Oxitec is planning to releasegenetically modified mosquitoes into the fragile enviroment of the Florida Keys. The company wants to use the Florida Keys as a testing ground for these mutant bugs.

Even though the local community in the Florida Keys has spoken -- we even passed an ordinance demanding more testing -- Oxitec is trying to use a loophole by applying to the FDA for an "animal bug" patent. This could mean these mutant mosquitoes could be released at any point against the wishes of locals and the scientific community. We need to make sure the FDA does not approve Oxitec's patent.

 

Nearly all experiments with genetically-modified crops have eventually resulted in unintended consequences: superweeds more resistant to herbicides, mutated and resistant insects also collateral damage to ecosystems. A recent news story reported that the monarch butterfly population is down by half in areas where Roundup Ready GM crops are doused with ultra-high levels of herbicides that wipe out the monarch's favorite milkweed plant.

What about our native species of Florida Keys Bats. Are there any studies being conducted to see if these mosquitoes will harm the native bat population?

Why would we not expect GM (genetically modified) insects, especially those that bite humans, to have similar unintended negative consequences? Will the more virulent Asian tiger mosquito that also carries dengue fill the void left by reductions in A. aegypti? Will the dengue virus mutate (think antibiotic resistant MRSA) and become even more dangerous?

There are more questions than answers and we need more testing to be done.

Will the public be able to stop this program from happening if we don't want it? We were told that "public opinion would be taken into account."

Dengue fever has been absent from Key West since 2010, which indicates the current methods of control and public education are working. What's the rush for this radical approach?

Where is the third-party, peer-reviewed research on effectiveness and safety of GM mosquitoes other than Oxitec's own claims of success? Don't let Oxitec bully our community! We say no to genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys!

To: 
The U.S. Senate 
The U.S. House of Representatives 
The Governor of FL 
The FL State Senate 
The FL State House 
Adam H Putman, Commisioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services 
Michael S. Doyle, Director, Florida Keys Mosquito Control District Management 
Lawrence J. Hribard PhD, Senior Entomologist 
Coleen T. Fitzsimmons, Biologist/Public Relations 
Corey Brindisi, Off shores Island Supervisor 
Stephen K Smith, Secretary-Treasurer 
Anderson H. (Andy) Racley, Director of the Department of Agriculture and Environmental. 
Ileana Ross- Lehtinen, Congresswoman 
Chairman William J Shaw, Chairman, Mosquito Board of Commisioner 
Jack Bridges, Vice Chairman 
Phillip Goodman, Commisoner 
Andrea Leal, Deputy Director FKMCD Management 
Dr. Bernadette Dunham, Director of FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine 
Curtis Allen, U.S. Food and Drug Administration 
Jill Cranney Gage, Commisioner 
Danny Kolhage, Monroe County Commissioner District 1 
George Neugent, Monroe County Commissioner District 2 
Heather Carruthers, Monroe County Commissioner District 3 
David Rice, Monroe County Commissioner District 4 
Sylvia Murphy, Monroe County Commissioner District 5 
Roman Gastesi Jr., Monroe County Administrator 
Anderson H. (Andy) Rackley, Florida Director of Agricultural Enviromental Services 
Steven E. Dwinell, Florida Assistant Director of Agricultural Enviromental Services 
Carol Leger, Florida Division Technology Officer of Agricultural Enviromental Services 
Angela Weeks-Samanie, Florida Government Analyst I of Agricultural Enviromental Services 
Kelly Friend, Florida Bureau Chief, Bureau of Compliance Monitoring of Agricultural Enviromental Services 
Michael J. Page, Florida Bureau Chief, Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control of Agricultural Enviromental Services 
Patricia Lucas, Florida Bureau Chief, Bureau of Agricultural Environmental Laboratories 
Dennis F. Howard, Ph.D., Florida Bureau Chief, Bureau of Pesticides of Agricultural Enviromental Services 
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Florida Keys Mosquito Control District & Management and the FDA

----------------
Stop the experimental release of (GM) mosquitoes in the Florida Keys 

Right now, a British company named Oxitec is planning to release genetically modified mosquitoes into the fragile enviroment of the Florida Keys.

Even though the local community in the Florida Keys has spoken -- we even passed an ordinance demanding more testing -- Oxitec is trying to use a loop hole by applying to the FDA for an "animal bug" patent. This could mean these mutant mosquitoes could be released at any point against the wishes of locals and the scientific community. We need to make sure the FDA does not approve Oxitec's patent.

Nearly all experiments with genetically-modified crops have eventually resulted in unintended consequences: super weeds more resistant to herbicides, mutated and resistant insects and collateral damage to ecosystems. A recent news story reported that the monarch butterfly population is down by half in areas where Roundup Ready GM crops are doused with ultra-high levels of herbicides that wipe out the monarch's favorite milkweed plant.

Why would we not expect GM insects, especially those that bite humans, to have similar unintended negative consequences? Will the more virulent Asian tiger mosquito that also carries dengue fill the void left by reductions in A. aegypti? Will the dengue virus mutate (think antibiotic resistant MRSA) and become even more dangerous?

At a recent Town Hall meeting residents discussed an experimental release of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes in Key West that was largely a sales pitch by Oxitec, a company with everything to gain by breaking into the U.S. market for GM mosquitoes and using our Key West backyards as a test site. It's the lack of any alternate expert scientific opinion that is troubling to me and many others. This is our home and our lives this company is using us as their own lab rats.

Sincerely,

Sincerely, 
[Your name]

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