Mosquitoes in Sao Tome, Principe & the New York Times

I really don’t have much to add to this excellent article on mosquitoes in Sao Tome and Principe. It includes an explanation of how to make mosquitoes resistant to malaria and maybe eliminate malaria at very low cost. The a non explanation of why this isn’t being done (there is no law against it but it appears that In Sao Tome & Principe as well as Germany everything is forbidden if it isn’t specifically allowed — and the parliament is too busy (making excuses) to decide whether to allow the effort.

I know that releasing genetically modified organisms is a very scary break with business as usual. ALso that genetic drive makes it scarier. But I note that no one has managed to think of a possible undesireable effect of the release of the genetically modified mosquitoes. Critics of the proposal are quoted in the article, but there ciriticisms have nothing to do with possible consequences of actions. Nothing. Zero. Niente.

Other articles in that days Times note the hundreds of thousands of malaria deaths per year and the fact that “Mosquitoes are a Growing Threat”. Notice both that the status quo is unacceptably bad *and* we can’t just choose it, because things are changing whether we change policy or not.

I link to them, because I care a lot about genetic engineering of mosquitoes and also because this is one of a series of posts starting with “Is Choosing the Status Quo sage ? Is it even possible ?

I close with a quote of a quote in the New York Times “‘We have got to get going,’ Dr. Lanzaro said. ‘We can’t just keep saying 10 more years, 10 more years. Six million people have died while we’ve been fiddling around.’”