Below the fold, a letter from Pesticide Action Network Asia/Pacific on the application by the Malasian Institute for Medical Research to release GM mosquitoes into the wild.
We refer to the public announcement by the National Biosafety Board of Malaysia about the application by the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) for the release of genetically modified male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Pahang and Melaka (referred to as Living Modified Organisms or LMOs of the OX513A strain) (Reference No. NRE(S) 609-2/1). We have serious concerns and objections.
First of all, there is a lack of transparency and information about the genes involved in the genetic engineering of the mosquito. For example, how is this male LMO ‘created’? Is there not the risk of a margin of error that might allow female LMOs to be selected in the process? What are the sources of the molecular marker and the ‘lethal’ gene that will make the offspring of the LMO and a female Aedes aegypti die? This is very critical.