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Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Approved for Release in Florida Keys

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Post by Abacus Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:48 pm

Oxitec was founded in 2002 by Luke Alphey and David Kelly working with Oxford University's Isis Innovation technology transfer company.
In August 2015 Oxitec was purchased by U.S.-based Intrexon in a deal valued at $160 million.
Oxitec was purchased by US-based Third Security in early 2020.

CEO Grey Frandsen was appointed in 2017. He is an American who led start-up initiatives in the U.S. government
and the private and non-profit sectors on matters relating to national and global public health security,
biotechnology and crisis response. Frandsen led the company's transition to its 2nd generation technology
while expanding its programs to advance its mosquito and agricultural technologies.

Oxitec established partnerships with large agricultural industry leaders and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,
which helped to advance Oxitec's 2nd generation technology.
Frandsen is the chairman of the board of directors for Pilgrim Africa, an NGO implementing malaria control programs
in Uganda funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Fund and private donors.

In 2020, Oxitec's OX5034 mosquito was approved for release by state and federal authorities for use in Florida.
The company claimed that it had already released over 1 billion mosquitos without problems.
The company plans to release 750 million males in 2021 in the Florida Keys.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxitec

The main substantive difference, compared to the earlier OX513A strain,
is that the genetically engineered killing mechanismin OX5034is intended to kill the female GE mosquitoes only,
with GE males surviving for multiple generations.

Although Oxitec frequently describedits OX513A GEmosquitoes as “sterile”, this is not the case.
The released GEmales mate and produce offspring which inherit the genetically engineered late-lethality trait.
This means thatmost (but not all) of the GEmosquitoes’ offspring die at the late larval stage,
in the water where the female mosquitoes lay their eggs.

GeneWatch UK has repeatedly warned (including in its previous regulatory submissions cited above) that this partial survival rate,
even if low (a reported 3 to 4% in laboratory conditions), would lead to the establishment of hybrid mosquitoes in the environment,
which might possess altered properties, including the potential for enhanced disease transmission or resistance to insecticides
genewatch.org/uploads/f03c6d66a9b354535738483c1c3d49e4/GeneWatch_EPA_Oxitec_consul19_fin.pdf

The Aedes aegypti mosquito that Oxitec proposes to release is itself categorised as a pest,
under 7 U.S.C. § 136(t) and § 136w(c)(1), because this mosquito species may be injurious to health or the environment.
Mosquitoes are listed as Pests of Significant Public Health Importance.
Further, the Aedes Aegypti mosquitois a disease vector,

as defined in 42 CFR §71.54: “Any animals (vertebrate or invertebrate) including arthropods
or any noninfectious self-replicating system (e.g., plasmids or other molecular vector)
or animal products (e.g., a mount, rug, or other display item composed of the hide,
hair, skull, teeth, bones, or claws of an animal) that are known to transfer
or are capable of transferring an infectious biological agent to a human”.

In 2015, Intrexon purchased Oxitec, a maker of gene drive technology for $160 million.
In April 2019, Intrexon formed a subsidiary called Precigen, with a focus on human gene therapy.
In early 2020, Intrexon adopted the name of its subsidiary, Precigen, and narrowed its focus to human gene editing.
With the change in name the CEO of subsidiary Precigen, Helen Sabzevari,
took over leadership of the company from Randal J. Kirk.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precigen

(US8967029B1) Toxic mosquito aerial release system
A device for the aerial release of mosquitoes
includes an unmanned aerial vehicle operable by remote control.
It carries a container holding a central processing unit and a mosquito breeding bin,
which is a self-contained volume housing mosquitoes
and a mosquito food having a toxin suitable to be transmitted
by mosquito bite after the mosquito consumes the mosquito food.
patents.google.com/patent/US8967029B1/en

(September 16, 2019) Trump ally pushes permit for genetically altered mosquito
EPA is evaluating an experimental permit — backed by a company with ties to a top Trump fundraiser — involving the release of genetically engineered mosquitoes.
The review, which EPA opened on Sept. 11 for public comment, draws into question the political influence leveraged to facilitate a high-level meeting
with EPA's administrator in an effort to push the application forward.
The application was put forth by Oxitec, a British biotech company
that is bankrolled by multiple investors including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is a holding company of Intrexon Corp.
Freedom of Information Act documents obtained by E&E News show lobbyist and Trump fundraiser Roy Bailey
and billionaire and CEO of Intrexon Randal Kirk were scheduled to meet with former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on May 18, 2017, to discuss the application.
eenews.net/stories/1061126099

(September 17, 2019) Release of Genetically-Modified Mosquitoes Doesn't Go As Planned
In a new approach, researchers at the company Oxitec created a genetically modified mosquito
that was modified with a conditional dominant lethal mutation
- most offspring that inherited the engineered gene were supposed die before they matured to adulthood,
and were intended not to breed. The scientists also included a fluorescent protein to mark mosquitoes that carried the modified gene.
An independent team of scientists has now released a study in Scientific Reports asserting that
some progeny of the genetically-modified mosquitoes survived and bred after all.
Wild mosquitoes have been found that are carrying small pieces of the genetically-engineered mosquito genome.
“The important thing is something unanticipated happened,” said population geneticist Jeffrey Powell of Yale University,
who was a co-author of the Scientific Report study. “When people develop transgenic lines or anything to release,
almost all of their information comes from laboratory studies. … Things don’t always work out the way you expect.”
labroots.com/trending/genetics-and-genomics/15673/release-genetically-modified-mosquitoes-doesn-t-planned


(August 19, 2020) 750 Million Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Approved for Release in Florida Keys
Marathon, FL—The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) yesterday approved the first-ever U.S. release of genetically engineered mosquitoes.
Despite public outcry and scientific dispute over the human health and environment risks posed by this field trial,
the approval permits the release of 750 million GE mosquitoes over a two-year period in Monroe County, Florida, which may begin in 2021.
Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board members have received more than 2,000 comments from Florida residents opposing the release
of GE mosquitoes. Despite encouragement from the public, the Board members also rejected the proposal for a referendum
on November's ballot, which would have asked Monroe County residents to vote
on whether to accept or reject the GE mosquito trial.
In 2016, voters in the proposed release site in Key Haven, Florida, voted to reject the GE mosquito trial.
Neither the FKMCD nor Oxitec has publicly announced where or when the releases will occur.
Documents submitted by Oxitec did not include details about an environmental impact statement (EIS).
centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/6126/750-million-genetically-engineered-mosquitoes-approved-for-release-in-florida-keys

(September 10, 2020) New research finds that Wolbachia bacterium can effectively block mosquito’s ability to spread viruses
According to Dr B Reddya Naik, Professor of Zoology, Osmania University in Hyderabad, Wolbachia bacterium link to Aedes and dengue
has been long established and the new research findings with its latest promising data is a positive outcome to curb vector born diseases.
The professor further explained that the RCT trial conducted in Indonesia was based on the concept that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes
when infected by Wolbachia will not transmit viruses like dengue when they bite humans.
This technique was pioneering by an Australian researcher Scott O Neill, who is a microbiologist in Monash University in Melbourne.
Giving more details on the new research study, Dr. Naik said that the research study taken up in Indonesia
was in fact was carried out under the World Mosquito Programme (WMP),
a voluntary organization lead by Monash University in Australia,
which is working on the subject of reducing threat of viruses
like zika, dengue, chikungunya etc diseases transmitted through mosquitoes.
pharmabiz.com/NewsDetails.aspx?aid=130977&sid=1

(April 19, 2021) Paradise altered: EPA approves first release of genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida Keys
This spring, the biotechnology company Oxitec plans to release genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes in the Florida Keys.
Oxitec says its technology will combat dengue fever, a potentially life-threatening disease,
and other mosquito-borne viruses — such as Zika — mainly transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Oxitec — which is U.S.-owned and based in the United Kingdom —
describes their mosquitoes as “friendly” because they will only release males,
which, unlike females, do not bite humans or transmit disease.
thebulletin.org/2021/04/paradise-altered-epa-approves-first-release-of-genetically-modified-mosquitoes-in-florida-keys/






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Post by Abacus Sun May 02, 2021 11:30 am

(April 29, 2021) The first genetically modified mosquitoes released in the U.S. to buzz in the Florida Keys
On Thursday morning, workers from a British company placed basketball-sized cardboard boxes into six yards in the Florida Keys.
Then they added water. In a week or so, 12,000 male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes will – one by one – begin buzzing out
of each box, the first genetically modified mosquitoes to be released in the United States.
usatoday.com/story/news/health/2021/04/29/genetically-modified-mosquitoes-released-florida-keys-first-us/4876624001/


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Post by Abacus Thu May 13, 2021 6:42 pm

(May 11, 2021) Why Are Gates and Pentagon Releasing GMO Mosquitoes in Florida Keys?
Despite strong resident protests, the US Environmental Protection Agency and Florida agencies have approved controversial release
of millions of genetically-modified or “gene edited” killer mosquitoes into the Florida Keyes.
At the same time the controversial Presidential Science Adviser nominee of Biden (Eric Lander)
is involved in development of the CRISPR technology being used to genetically modify everything
from the mosquitoes to the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus mRNA “vaccines” to gene-edited salmon.
How Bill Gates, the Pentagon and the eugenics lobby come together now is alarming to put it mildly.
journal-neo.org/2021/05/11/why-are-gates-and-pentagon-releasing-gmo-mosquitoes-in-florida-keys/


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