An experiment meant to curb the rise of Dengue fever is raising many questions after it was announced that 6000 genetically altered mosquitos were released into a Malaysian forrest.
Dengue fever is certainly a scourge. And while infections have recently been on the rise, it is not normally a fatal disease. According to the WHO, most people recover from dengue without any complications. Since mosquitos transmit dengue, it was normal to look for ways to control their population and limit the chances for transmission. In the past, governments have limited their management of the mosquito problem to reducing breeding areas, this is one of the first efforts known to introduce modified mosquitos that will produce fewer offspring into the ecosystem.
So we have fewer mosquitos on the planet, what could possibly go wrong? After all, the Cayman Islands also did a little experiment with modified mosquitos last year and they reported an 80% reduction in the little blood suckers. Again, what could possibly be bad about a planet with fewer mosquitos?
Let's see. . . mosquitos feed on us, but who needs mosquitos to live? Birds, dragonflies, frogs, bats, and something called the mosquito fish. Ok, so we might have a few less birds, dragonflies, frogs, bats, and mosquito fish. Some say it is small price to pay for getting rid of those pesky vampires. Can't we live without those a few birds, frogs and fish?
Hmmm, aside from people, what eats frogs, birds and fish? Snakes, mongoose, many species of cats enjoy frogs and birds. Once you step back and look at the big picture here, the dominos all line up pretty quickly. And once they start falling, it may be too late
Am I being an alarmist? It's only a few mosquitos. . . and the government said that a month after the "test" they went in with insecticide and killed all of the modified bugs. Unless I see 6000 tiny body bags, each filled with a genetically modified mosquito, I'm not buying it.