The latest virus understandably striking fear among the masses is the Zika virus, known to cause birth defects and neurological problems. In fact, what started most recently as an issue primarily in Brazil, where some 4,000 babies were born with microcephaly since October 2015 (a defect in which the head is significantly smaller than normal), is said to likely reach pandemic levels.(1)
In fact, it's already reached the United States. "We are aware of one case in Massachusetts, a person who had traveled to an area where we already know Zika is being transmitted," says Dr. Larry Madoff, director of the Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at the Department of Public Health. The Boston, Massachusetts, man is expected to recover from the virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and in some cases, sexual activity.(2)
Of course, experts such as those at the World Health Organization (WHO) have been meeting to get to the bottom of the crisis. However, they may only need to go back as far as the release of GM mosquitoes in Brazil in 2015, just mere months before people in that region began giving birth to babies with serious defects.
Case in point: Oxitec, a company that calls itself "… a pioneer in controlling insects that spread disease and damage crops," unveiled its GM mosquito farm in Brazil in July 2012. Its goal was to reduce dengue fever, a disease which is spread by the Aedes mosquitoes which also spread the Zika virus. Then, in 2015, these GM mosquitoes were released into the wild in Brazil. In July that same year, the release was declared a success by the company, who noted that they'd been able to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads dengue fever, chikungunya … and the Zika virus. However, in October, people in the general area where the mosquitoes were released began to experience illnesses related to the Zika virus at alarmingly fast rates.(1,3)
Indeed, it would appear that – once again – man's need to create a Franken-environment has created what might end up becoming a global pandemic.
After all, the series of events is logical. The Zika virus was first discovered in 1947, and since then, only a few cases occasionally appeared. Throughout the years, some additional cases popped up, but nothing nearly as devastating as what's taking place today. Again, 4,000 babies in Brazil have been born with defects since October 2015 – the same year that GM mosquitoes were released into the wild, in the very same area where the problems are now occurring.
Coincidence? We think not.
The health effects that develop when humans tamper with everything around them happens time and again. It's everywhere, from the chemical violence that Monsanto unleashes and people's bad farming practices, to the vaccines and the release of genetically modified mosquitoes. People are becoming ill because of all the harmful things they're breathing, eating and getting poked and prodded with on a daily basis, and it's virtually never-ending.
Sadly, an article in MIT Technology Review titled, "This Is How to Stop the Zika Virus," touts the benefits (benefits?) of GM practices. The author states that embracing such methods could very well help keep the virus at bay.(4)
"As the situation worsens, several technological approaches may start to look appealing," author Michael Reilly writes. "Genetically modified mosquitoes could also have a role to play. Successful tests in the Cayman Islands and Brazil have shown that the introduction of modified male mosquitoes can cause local populations to crash. But these tests, conducted by the British firm Oxitec, have so far been on the scale of a few neighborhoods. Ramping up the process to cover all of Brazil would require a huge logistical effort to grow and distribute the modified insects."(4)
Ramping up? Sure, let's put more unnatural things into the world, focusing on a place that's already grappling with a serious health problem, that was likely sparked by genetic modification to begin with.
It's a backwards world, indeed.
Many technologies and various inventions have created wonderful benefits for this planet. Genetically modified foods and animals are not one of them.
Sources for this article include: