Nearly 144,000 genetically modified mosquitoes will be released in South Florida this week as part of an effort to reduce the population disease-carrying mosquitoes.
The landmark release of GMO insects marks the beginning of the U.S.-approved program to control the number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the area.
The project will place boxes loaded with Oxitec’s non-biting male mosquitoes in six areas around the Florida Keys to mate with biting female mosquitoes. As a result of the encounters, the female offspring will not survive and – hopefully – will reduce the dangerous mosquito’s population in the area.
The local news outlet’s story downplays the volume of GMO mosquitos to be released, omitting the fact that 20 million additional mosquitos will be released in the second half of 2021.
ISLAMORADA, Fla., April 26, 2021 /CSRwire/ – Despite a decade of community opposition, the experimental release of genetically engineered mosquitoes begins today in the Florida Keys. British biotech corporation, Oxitec, in collaboration with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, plans to release up to a billion genetically engineered mosquitoes in two phases. GMO Free USA and the Coalition Against GMO Mosquitoes condemn the uncontrolled release and are airing radio spots to educate Florida Keys residents about the health and environmental risks.
Found Dead on Morning She Planned to Visit EPA with 200,000 Signature-Petition
Editor’s Note: A source has informed MHB they contacted the management of Washington DC’s Cambria Hotel & Suites to inquire on the existence and availability of surveillance footage of the hotel grounds for Tuesday, April 10, the date of de Mier’s death. The personnel would not respond to inquiries on such footage and a message to management for a callback was unanswered.
A longtime opponent of genetically engineered mosquitoes was found dead in a Washington D.C. hotel as she prepared to present a petition with over 200,000 signatures to the EPA.
On Tuesday morning Mila de Mier—a 45-year-old activist from Key West, Florida who opposed the release of genetically engineered mosquitoes—was found dead in a swimming pool at a hotel in Washington D.C. De Meir was visiting D.C. to deliver a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency demanding the agency deny a permit for the release of genetically engineered mosquitoes in Florida and Texas.
The D.C. Fire Department says the reported incident happened at the Cambria Hotel & Suites Washington, D.C. Convention Center on 899 O Street, NW. They say they were called to the scene at around 9:35 a.m. Medical crews say they attempted to treat the victim but later pronounced her dead.
Fox5 in D.C. notes that the police report claims a witness found de Mier floating inside the rooftop pool and called 911. The Metropolitan Police Department in D.C. is investigating the exact circumstances of the drowning.
In the days preceding her death, Mila de Mier posted on her Facebook page about the fight against genetically engineered mosquitoes. “The time is now Please sign and share ! We are not guinea pigs,” she wrote. “Is time to set standards when it come to people and Biotecnology.”
Activist Post spoke with Barbara Napoles, a fellow activist and long-term friend of de Mier who accompanied her on the trip to Washington D.C., and one of the last people to see her alive. Napoles worked with de Mier for years as part of the Never Again Foundation, an organization that focused on a variety of environmental causes. Napoles explained that she and de Mier had worked on the GE mosquito issue for years and had previously made trips to the Food and Drug Administration in an attempt to express their concerns.
On Tuesday, April 10 Washington DC authorities recovered the body of Key West-based environmental activist Milagro de Mier from the pool of a hotel close to the DC Convention Center . de Mier was in the nation’s capital to raise awareness and petition the US Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency on a British biotech company’s plan to release 50 million genetically-modified mosquitoes in Florida and Texas on a weekly basis.
The environmental activist and real estate agent was 45, and the mother of three. “These GMO mosquitoes could pose major risks to fragile ecosystems like the Florida Keys and Texas,” de Mier argued on the page of her Change.org petition, “and may pose risks to public health and safety.