More people die of stupidity in a day. What a huge hype to bring fear and boost sales.
New figures released Wednesday by Brazil’s Health Ministry as part of a probe into the Zika virus have found fewer cases of a rare birth defect than first feared. Researchers have been looking at 4,180 suspected cases of microcephaly reported since October. On Wednesday, officials said they had done a more intense analysis of more than 700 of those cases, confirming 270 cases and ruling out 462 others. Brazilian officials still say they believe there’s a sharp increase in cases of microcephaly and strongly suspect the Zika virus, which first appeared in the country last year, is to blame. But the World Health Organization and others have stressed that any link between Zika and the defect remains circumstantial and is not yet proven scientifically. In 2014, only about 150 [microcephaly] cases were reported in Brazil in a year – a surprisingly small amount for a large country with nearly 3 million births a year. The United States, with about 4 million births a year, has an estimated 2,500 cases of microcephaly a year, said Margaret Honein, a CDC epidemiologist. The birth defect can be caused by factors such as genetics, malnutrition or drugs. Brazilian officials said the babies with the defect and their mothers are being tested to see if they had been infected. Six of the 270 confirmed microcephaly cases were found to have the virus. Two were stillborn and four were live births, three of whom later died, the ministry said.
Can GM mosquitoes rid the world of a major killer?
July 14, 2012, The Guardian (One of the UK’s leading newspapers)
The mosquitoes developed and raised here at the laboratories of Oxitec, a British biotech company based near Didcot, have already infiltrated wild populations in Brazil, Malaysia and the Cayman Islands. The company hopes that it will reduce populations of disease-carrying mosquitoes by 80%. [Oxitec] is primarily focused on … the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries [dengue fever]. The main weapons against A aegypti, pesticides and education, have had little success in preventing its spread. Oxitec’s chief scientific officer … came up with an alternative using genetic modification. He produced mosquitoes that were engineered to need an antibiotic, tetracycline, to develop beyond larval stage. Critics of Oxitec say that the company is rushing to commercialise its products to provide a return on investment, massaging research while leaving key questions unanswered. Earlier this year, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Germany examined information regarding the release of modified insects into the environment in Malaysia and Grand Cayman, which were carried out by Oxitec. The scientists’ findings suggest that there are “deficits in the scientific quality of regulatory documents and a general absence of accurate experimental descriptions available before releases start”. Oxitec is now producing mosquitoes in Brazil. It recently reported that it reduced the number of Aedes mosquitoes by 85%, compared with an area where the company’s mosquitoes weren’t released.
Note: So GM mosquitoes were released in Brazil a few years ago (note this article was published in 2012). It turns out the area where they were released looks like the same area where the Zika outbreak occurred. Could the outbreak have been caused by these GM mosquitoes? For more, see this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.