EPA to Release ‘Weaponized’ Mosquitoes in 20 US States

(Zero Hedge) The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just cleared MosquitoMate, Inc., a Lexington, KY based biotechnology company, focused on mosquito control deficiencies, invasive mosquito species, and important vectors of human diseases, to release it’s bacteria-infected mosquitoes in 20 US states and Washington DC.

First released on Nature.com,

On 3 November, the agency told biotechnology start-up MosquitoMate that it could release the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis into the environment as a tool against the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). Lab-reared mosquitoes will deliver the bacterium to wild mosquito populations.

The decision – which the EPA has not formally announced – allows the company, which is based in Lexington, Kentucky, to release the bacteria-infected mosquitoes in 20 US states and Washington DC.

The University of Kentucky explains their roll in fostering the science behind MosquitoMate, along with the understanding of how this technology works.

According to David O’Brochta, an entomologist at the University of Maryland in Rockville, “It’s a non-chemical way of dealing with mosquitoes, so from that perspective, you’d think it would have a lot of appeal. I’m glad to see it pushed forward, as I think it could be potentially really important.”

The company’s lab-grown mosquitoes, which it calls ZAP males, are a non-biting, male Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger mosquito) that carries a bacterium called Wolbachia. As explained on the company’s website, Wolbachia “is common throughout insects worldwide, with scientists estimating that over half of all insects naturally carry the infection”. When bacteria-infected males mate with unaffected females, it causes the females to become sterile…

Original Source

  • CUZIN ERN

    This report is great news: as what about wood ticks 8 out of 10 Americanos have that virus in their blood stream??????????????

  • CCblogging

    I hope those released mosquitos don’t create bigger problems. I have seen what a problem the importation of Kudzu for soil erosion has become. Also, those big snakes in the everglades were not a native species here. They were imported and then released by idiots. There’s millions of them now, kinda like Obama’s terrorists. Our government is also tampering with the weather by seeding the clouds, all while the globalist elites scream climate change, climate change, climate change.. I question anything the government does. Is there a disease in those mosquitos for us humans too?

    • ecbound

      You can almost count on it.

    • stluyjuy

      Remember the ‘killer bees’ that the Dept. of Interior said that they would stop at Central America? The fools said that they would breed the strain out using European honey bees, well it turned out that the African killer bees were stronger and they killed the European honey bees and kept right on coming up through Mexico and are now in most if not all the southern states and are building up stamina to withstand cooler climates. That’s how your government handled the ‘killer bee’ problem.

  • Maxine Albritton

    this theory is not new they used it for screw worm flies in fl. many years ago but they irradiated the males so they became sterile instead of infecting them with bacteria. they bred females like crazy but no eggs became of it.

    • Big John

      Interesting story I heard about Texas and their similar screw-worm problem and remedy from about 1980’s.
      After controlling the screw worms, the rancher’s cattle survived, and the deer population exploded. In the central regions of Texas (cattle country) you used to see about as many deer as Bigfoot babies.
      Now, you drive through that part of Texas at night, and you are taking your life in your own hands, dodging the deer on the roads.
      Not necessarily a bad thing, but surprising results just the same.

      • Maxine Albritton

        the flys used to lay eggs in open places in cattle. The maggots would hatch and eat the animal from the inside out. Disgusting.. The ranchers would have to remain viligant and when calves were born they would put a substance on the umbilical cord to prevent a problem of such, So it was a hardship especially for large ranches. We have cattle so I know. Good riddance to that problem It is constantly monitored even today and occasionally they catch a fly that does this type of thing and go about killing out the population before it gets started.

        • meddah4

          How long has this research been going on? I’m sure they’ve been doing it for other viruses. Malaria, elephantiasis, maybe even zika. This is the first time I heard of it. It sounds good for control of unwanted humans.. . liberal Democrats, Progressives and RINOs for starters. I would say 64y5 but they already licked that problem.

          • Maxine Albritton

            I would say trying it on that problem is definitely worth a try. oh my bad.

  • Gregg Parker

    Here we go again… have we ever been. Able to pit any of these genies back in the bottle?…

  • depaz

    This kind of “control” generally has a way of backfiring – the “solution” ends up being a problem down the road. . . . . .

  • Sounds promising, and since it is a naturally found component already carried by most insects, sounds like a solution given it only sterilizes females, so it is not a poison like all other control systems are which can create an impact on environment.

  • Donovan Blaylock

    In North Carolina they place Rattlesnakes-thousands of them in National Forest to protect the snakes. Anti venom is now $8,990 per dose and you will need up to three doses Used to cost $6,000 per dose

  • Deplorable Irredeemable Susan

    What happens when they “accidentally” put the bacterium into the biting females instead?
    What is this bacterium and what might it do to harm human beings?
    A lot of these diseases that came to human beings from mosquitoes we had not
    heard of them previously. I do not like things being “released” into OUR environment.
    Scientists are not God, but yet they tinker with God’s natural order of things.

    • Maxine Albritton

      some tinkering is beneficial some might have consequences not forseen. They are doing gene therapy and they stopped the total degeneration of an eight year old kids eye. The child went from very low vision to being able to read,the written word. and to travel without a cane plus much more. I wish they would have given a number like twenty/;thirty or such but theydid not. The childs condition was LCA. it is very similar to RP retinitis pigmentosa.

  • tCotUS

    We have already seen how terribly genetic modification can threaten the environment and human health, yet people are still moving toward a genetically modified world.

    With the release of genetically modified insects could come the downfall of both local and global ecosystems as well as negative consequences concerning the food chain. There is simply no way of knowing what could happen by replacing the naturally born life forms on planet earth with genetically modified creations.
    EPA should be DISBANDED & DEFUNDED NOW!!!

    • Maxine Albritton

      they are not genetically modified just given a bacteria that sterilizes them probably like given humans clymadia not sure I spelled that correctly but an STD. they just breed normal mosquitos and no eggs happen. there may be consequences but these insects are not desirable and in the number we have to spray less so. Dogs get heartworms, diseases are carried etc.

      • Mike Yarbrough

        That is genetically modified…..LMAO @ you!

        • Jack Leonard

          Maxine is right and you are wrong. There is no modification of their DNA.

          • Mike Yarbrough

            Wow….really? School much? When you inject bacteria (which is DNA by the way), it modifies the DNA of the subject! https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/04/genetically-modified-mosquitoes-zika/479793/

          • Mike Yarbrough

            So, I am right and you are both wrong….what are you, 12?

          • Maxine Albritton

            maybe but it isn’t going anywhere, the mosquito breeds but does not produce. according to the plan.

          • Jack Leonard

            No it doesn’t moron. I have a doctors degree in science. You must have gone to public school.

          • Mike Yarbrough

            LOL… a “Doctor’s degree in Science” thank you for the laugh. I went to U of O and have an MBA. There is no such thing as a “Doctor’s degree” and yes it does modify the DNA.

          • Jack Leonard

            Keep talking idiot. Make yourself known to all.

          • Mike Yarbrough

            LMFAO…..It is you that looks like the idiot here Mr. Keyboard Warrior! I’d be willing to bet that you are missing a few teeth, your nose is crooked, and you live in a single wide trailer.

      • Wondering Woman

        The last thing I saw on genocide by the World Health Organization (WHO) was exposed for shipping tetanus vaccine to Kenya to be administered to all females of child bearing age. It was contaminated with human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) which would if given as scheduled, have made the recipients body form antibodies against any embryo she conceived, causing permanent sterility! WHO is the one making the decisions on the vaccines to be forced upon all children worldwide!

        There was also an allegation that HIV+ was spread by WHO in smallpox vaccines in Africa, and two other spots – and in gay communities it was put in Hepatitis vaccine.

        • Maxine Albritton

          I am glad you said that because I am basically anti vaccines and the laws are so strict on this. Some doctors won’t see your children if not vaccinated and a vet. would not see my dog because they wanted to vaccinate her before having her teeth cleaned. so they would have vaccinated her and if she reacted she would probably have died under anesthesia how stupid is that. The human world thinks you are neglecting your kids if you don’t give vaccines, there are over thirty to be had today. up from when I was a kid. Besides mercury (a deadly poison) formaldehyde and some biological material and God only knows what else. You can look it up the list is terrible you are expected to give these freely. in the book super immunity a doctor that wrote the book said flu shots are the worse he never gives them to his family they just eat healthy.

    • Maxine Albritton

      this mosquito contains a bacteria which sterilizes it but it cannot breed so does that make it genetically modified. not in the way that it will reproduce anything. At least that is the plan. the buck stops here.

  • Mike Yarbrough

    This is what we are being told, but what is the truth to it? Is it possible that this is their part of Agenda 21? Think about that. It’s scary to think that we can genetically modify insects that could potentially wipe out the human race.

  • Louie Rey

    They should start in the headquarters of the DNC.

    • meddah4

      Haw, haw, haw! Words escape me!

    • Handydan1

      WE already have: http://WWW.CONVENTIONOFSTATES.COM

      Check it out. 1/3 of the States needed to hold a Convention of proposing Amendments that will “Limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal gov., place term limits on federal Officials and members of congress, and impose fiscal restraints that limit taxing and spending.”

      • Louie Rey

        Now if we could only get the federal government to enact all of these laws we’d be in much better shape. Here are two, two word phrases, one which describes the problem and one which describes the solution. The problem? Career politicians. The solution? Term limits.

    • Yarbles

      I like your thinking on this.

  • tCotUS

    EPA sealed Document not for Release.

    Subject:The Danger of GM mosquitoes

    Title: The Danger of GM Mosquitoes Date: 31 October 2011 THIRD WORLD NETWORK BIOSAFETY INFORMATION SERVICE:

    Dear Friends and colleagues,RE: The Danger of GM Mosquitoes Below is an article (Item 1) published in Scientific American, which raises concerns with regard to GM mosquitoes which have been released on a trial run in three countries thus far. The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are the vectors for dengue fever, were genetically modified to carry a lethal gene which prevents the larvae from surviving in the absence of tetracycline. The author flags concerns related to health, ecology and pest control management. She also questions the ethical aspect of the releases and raises issues pertaining to regulatory oversight, the lack of genuine consultation; transparency and liability. Another article giving the opposing view is also published in the same publication, please see “Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Could Be an Important Tool in the Fight against Disease” by Mark Q. Benedict In related news, the results of the world’s first field trial with these GM mosquitoes were published yesterday in Nature Biotechnology. However, the research has raised concerns aboutpossible unintended effects on public health and the environment (Item 2). Among the concerns raised were the possibility that the mosquitoes could evolve resistance to the lethal gene and the resistant mosquitoes might then be released inadvertently, the survival of insects to adulthood despite presumably carrying the lethal gene, and the possibility of release of females (which bite humans and transmit dengue) due to sorting error, leading to a possible temporary increase in disease spread. Critics also say that Oxitec, the British biotechnology company that developed the GM mosquito, has rushed into field testing without sufficient review and public consultation, sometimes in countries with weak regulations. With best wishes, Third World Network 131 Jalan Macalister,10400 Penang,MalaysiaEmail: [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view itWebsite: http://www.biosafety-info.net and http://www.twnside.org.sgTo subscribe to other TWN information lists: http://www.twnnews.net—————————————————————————————————————-Item 1http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=dengue-case-for-genetically-modified-mosquitoes&page=3
    The Danger of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes
    By Helen Wallace Scientific American, October 24, 2011The release of genetically modified (GM) insects should follow a precautionary approach, because what appears well understood in the lab can have unintended consequences when released on a large scale into the environment. On release, GM mosquitoes become part of a complex system involving predators and prey, other mosquito species, four types of dengue virus, other tropical diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, and the humans – including children -who are being bitten and infected. An expert report to the European Food Safety Authority lists a wide variety of issues that should be addressed prior to the deliberate release of any GM insects. They include the adverse effects associated with the flow of genes into the wild population; the interactions of the GM insect with target and non target organisms; the impact on agricultural management practices and on management measures to control insects that are vectors for diseases; and a variety of potential effects on human health. The latter include allergies and irritation; the presence of live female mosquitoes; potential changes in the ability of mosquitoes to transmit disease; and accidental ingestion (including of larvae and eggs). Other issues that have been raised elsewhere include: the potential for viruses to evolve into more virulent forms; the impacts on human immunity and hence cases of disease; whether other species of mosquito (transmitting the same or different diseases) might occupy the ecological niche vacated by a falling population of the target species (pdf); and whether infection with dengue has a protective effect against yellow fever. The first open releases of GM mosquitoes have now taken place in the Cayman Islands, Malaysia and Brazil. In all three countries the biotechnology company Oxitec released GM Aedes a egypti mosquitoes (yellow fever mosquitoes) with the intention of reducing the population of this species, which also transmits dengue fever. In choosing the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands to undertake the first releases, Oxitec bypassed the provisions of the Cartagena Protocol (covering impacts on biodiversity) and the Aarhus Convention(covering access to environmental information), both of which would apply in the U.K. The Cayman trials were in an inhabited area where dengue is not endemic; the smaller Malays iatrical was in an uninhabited area in a country where dengue is endemic; and the ongoing, much larger Brazilian trials are in an inhabited area where dengue is endemic. Only in Malaysia did the company openly consult the public, and even there, a small-scale release caused public concerns due to the lack of transparency about the timing and insufficient public information. Further, only a summary of the risk assessment has been published, leaving the regulator’s decisions about what hazards to include, and whether or not they were significant, open to dispute. Although no doubt genuine in its desire to tackle dengue fever, Oxitec is a commercial company with a patented technology to sell. Its business plan relies on convincing the governments of dengue endemic countries to pay for ongoing releases of its GM mosquitoes to maintain suppression of the mosquito population. Its investors include the University of Oxford, the venture capital company Oxford Capital Partners (which offers significant tax breaks to its investors), and a Boston-based multimillionaire. The former U.K. science minister, Lord Drayson, and the former president of the Royal Society, Lord May, have both acted as advisors to investors in the company. Oxitec has also received significant U.K. government subsidy via the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council as well as the Technology Strategy Board. Its open-release experiment in Malaysia was funded viaa translational grant from the Wellcome Trust. Although the company is a spin-off from Oxford, the university’s ethics board plays no role in overseeing its experiments. Research on public attitudes to potential releases of GM mosquitoes to tackle malaria in Mali found that participants wanted to see evidence that GM mosquitoes could reduce malaria without adverse effects on human health and the environment, and many were skeptical that the technology would work. A majority of participants would support a release that satisfied their conditions, but a substantial minority would not support a release under any circumstances. Whereas it is difficult to extrapolate from a small study in a single country (which included mainly male participants), the study does succeed in raising some important issues. How is people’s consent to be obtained for such experiments, given that most people would only grant it if certain conditions were fulfilled? And, is it ethical to undertake experiments if some people continue to oppose them? Oxitec seems to have treated this ethical problem as largely an issue of public relations. In Cayman it released a video claiming its GM mosquitoes were sterile, rather than explaining that they breed and the offspring die as pupae; it also didn’t mention that they were genetically modified. In Brazil activities have included attending carnival dressed up as mosquitoes. Concerns that the technology is not 100 percent effective, leaving some female (biting) mosquitoes to breed, have simply been ignored. For observers, it is hard to understand how decades of debate at the World Health Organization and elsewhere have come to this. Is there really any regulatory oversight; any data required of any company; and any ethical requirements before GM insects can be released into the open? Decisions appear to be being taken by a small circle of powerful investors who have decided they must rush to commercialize a particular technology, rather than in consultation with the people who will be affected. Who is going to be liable if anything goes wrong? And will any problems be reversible as releases happen on an ever larger scale?———————-Helen Wallace is the director of Gene Watch UK. She has worked as an environmental scientist in academia and industry and as senior scientist at Greenpeace UK, where she was responsible for science and policy work on a range of issues. She has a degree in physics from the University of Bristol and a PhD in applied mathematics from University of Exeter.

  • Murphmeister

    Are chain saws also attached?

  • Maria castro

    Oh, oh, I am scared of those mosquitoes, especially if we figure in the push for population control. The cure might be deadly to humans, not for mosquitoes.

  • Charles

    We’re ALL SCREWED..WATCH WE WONT BE ABLE TO GO OUTSIDE. TRAVEL..OR JUST LIVE.

  • Wally

    We have seen the effects of this before, look at the ladybugs they released to counter the pine boar. Not only have they not countered the boar but now we have billions of them swarming all over the place invading our homes and making a very unpleasant mess.

  • old_salty_dawg99

    The ECOIDIOTS will scream their heads off about this.

  • Al Danzo

    My favorite saying is ,”unintended consequences”. Okay, so what happens to natural “predators” that eat mosquitoes, will they be infected also. Won’t be the 1st time our govt. with supposedly good intentions wound up with UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. Will it work out for the better ? Guess time will tell, I hope so.

  • Chancisify

    Each time government gets involved in experiments such as this, disaster results. Aren’t Lyme ticks created in a lab??? Once, I read they tried to infest mosquito with Aids virus…..that didn’t work either.
    To control weeds?? They planted species of Kudzu along I-75–it has a draping effect on the trees. I watched college student re-plant sea weed (Fl) as the controlled manatee population eats this by grasping a plant (from soft water sandy areas) ripping it up by the roots. The “kids” explained that this procedure is not working at all…yeah EPA needs to be stripped form government coffers.

  • meddah4

    Wow. That last line was mind boggling. ‘Causes the females to become sterile.’

  • Ron Long

    Does anyone understand how this bacterium affects humans? Some bacteria is helpful to humans and some are not. Which category does this one fall in?

    • Fact checker

      There is not one single case of good bacteria in the human blood stream. The good bacteria you must be referring to is in the intestines.

  • Fact checker

    I am not a scientist but I already see the logic flaw in this solution. Scientists release “non-biting males” who spread the disease to biting females … wait a biting female bites humans, right?

    • Maxine Albritton

      It did not state that the males are capable of spreading this bacteria but that does make some sense, it states that the bacteria renders the males sterile however, bacterias are usually transmittable as in TB a bacterial disease. so who knows.

  • Askjrsk

    Great! Government sponsored malaria and other diseases. Like prophesied in the Bible, book of revelations?

    • Maxine Albritton

      In revelations it stated that God will have the angels empty their vials on the earth and these vials are filled with pestilence. diseases. plagues.

      • Cosmic

        They already did, thousands of years ago.

  • steveCi

    which states are they going to be released into ?

  • dhd123

    We have these nasty japanese beetles around here, when the soybeans are harvested they swarm the houses and get in every nook and cranny inside and outside the house. They were supposedly released in the 50’s because they counteracted some other bug. They look like ladybugs but are not.every fall and winter they drive ya nuts.

  • Wondering Woman

    If the EPA says it is good for you, be wary!

    Keep a large bottle of lemon dish detergent on hand. Put a few drops into a shallow white dish and then fill with water to give your mosquitos fresh water, but put where your pets won’t be drinking it!

  • N. Subramanian

    Rex Tillerson, Sec State, went recently to India and became popular instantly, more instantly than even the genial Clinton couple did as POTUS and FLOTUS, when they dressed (not forgetting the red-dot on forehead) and danced like the locals did in Rajasthan, India.
    The reason for Tillerson’s instant fame as India-lover was that he offered his friendly hand to Indians for 100 years, the extra one day in intervening Leap Years included.
    Every Indian who was alive on that historic day will now want to live for 100 years, to die with the satisfaction of not having trusted Tillerson blindly.
    Mosquitos are the enemy which will cause Indians to die without experiencing that satisfaction.
    The Administration owes it to Tillerson and his credibility to supply to India free of cost and with the usual Guarantee of free replacement, as many of this App as there are households in India.

  • N. Subramanian

    According to a story my friend told me long ago, Karate can pritect a Human from the Mosquito.
    The idea of using Karate for the purpose followed a friendly competition berween two Chinese men.
    One waved his hand fast in Karate-chop, opened his fist to show a Mosquito that lay dead within.
    The other man waved his hand a bit slower than his friend had, opened his fist to show a Mosquito that lay within in some agitation, and he said to his friend “This here Mosquito will have no more kids”
    That is what this Scietifically devised App plans to do – sterilise the female by infecting the unsuspecting, innocent male for doing only what Biology and Human-example tell it to do.
    Mosquitoes, male and female, will prefer Karate. Every family, Human or Mosquito, must have for its happiness a healthy male to put food on the Table.

  • 1ForWisdom

    You should trust the government when they tell you something. Just ask Native Americans about that.

  • Mike Yarbrough

    Really? I was the one berated LOL

  • curtis

    Oh, I’m sure that there is nothing in this that could possibly go wrong,right?