“GAHH! MUTANT MOSQUITOES! RUN!” Ignorance of Science Carries Floridians to a New Low

Oh, Florida Man. Don't ever change.

"The first release of genetically modified mosquitoes in the United States began this week in the Florida Keys". Mosquito Control in Florida has been working with scientists for many years to develop genetically modified mosquitoes --and it's a smart thing to do. If it works it will reduce Floridian exposure to disease-carrying mosquitoes, at a critical time, and it reduces the exposure of locals to dangerous pesticides--pesticides to which the mosquitoes can become resistant, speaking of mutations. But some Florida Key residents have been fighting the release of what they call "mutant mosquitoes".

"'We live here, this is our home, and they're forcing this down people's throats...The only thing you can do legally at this point is stand in your yard with an insect fogger,' said Mara Daly, a resident of Key Largo, Florida, who has fought the release for eight years. '...You can fog the shit out of your own yard.'" So, they're planning to poison themselves with thick pesticide fogs because they're scared of the "mutant mosquitoes".

Pesticides haven't been working on the mosquitoes in question. The pesticide sprays have been poisoning people, animals, the environment but the toxins haven't suppressed the invasive mosquito Aedes aegypti; it is very cunning about where it hides and reproduces. Please note: Aedes aegypti spreads the Zika virus (which causes horrifying birth defects), yellow fever, and dengue--and, potentially, other diseases.

The new release program has folded a special gene into Aedes aegypti, which will be passed on to the next generation of these scurrilous bloodsuckers through the reproduction cycle. The will be unable to reproduce and will die off. Various species of disease-carrying insects are moving north, riding the climate change bandwagon. This is an important time to find a better way to control the damn things. The FDA has investigated and approved the process. Now, the release is a nice, neat way to control the new influx of dangerous bloodsuckers--and what's so scary about it? Those who are objecting to the release seem to have no particular reason beyond the apparently scary-sounding phrase--

MUTANT MOSQUITOES!

But of course like all life forms, mosquitoes mutate on their own anyway. Just not in a way that's advantageous to humans. Not till we figured out a scientifically ingenious way to choose their mutation.

And yet...still...

AIEEEE! MUTANT MOSQUITOES ARE COMING! RUUNNNNN!