F. WILLIAM ENGDAHL
On April 30 the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District and the Oxitec biotechnology company announced they will begin release of what will ultimately be some 750 million genetically manipulated or gene-edited Aedes Aegypti mosquitos using CRISPR gene editing technology. The Aedes Aegypti makes up only about 4% of the mosquito population in the Keys. The release is bitterly opposed by residents and environmental groups, who demanded a referendum in last year’s election ballot, but which the Mosquito Control Board refused, curiously. Oxitec and the Board claim the release is to kill off the presence of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which is believed to carry dengue fever, Zika and other diseases.
The project, which sounds positive in the press statements, is alarming in many respects. First, the refusal to allow a citizen vote on the controversial GMO release. Second, there exists no cost-benefit analysis of the risks versus benefits of releasing millions of mosquitoes whose genetic traits are mutating in often unpredictable ways. Is it worth the risk that an ever more robust variety of mosquito will mutate from the project? No one can say. Traditional mosquito control techniques have worked well until now.
The CEO of Oxitec, Grey Frandsen, has a dark history with the US State Department in the Balkans, as an advisor to the US Navy, and as a Fellow of the George Soros’ International Crisis Group that played a key role in the destruction of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. With no previous experience in biotechnology, Frandsen appears as CEO of Oxitec in 2017. Oxitec, a UK company, is now owned by Third Security, a US venture capital firm in Radford, Virginia headed by Randal J. Kirk, who also owns the gene-edited salmon producer, AquaBounty.
At another trial by Oxitec for the same Aedes Aegypti gene-edited mosquito in Bahia, Brazil, in a test to see if the gene-edited mosquitoes would mate with local mosquitoes carrying Zika, malaria or other mosquito-borne diseases, following an initial reduction of the target population of mosquitoes, after some months the “population, which had been greatly suppressed, rebounded to nearly pre-release levels,” according to a study published in Nature Reports journal. A team of scientists from Yale University and several scientific institutes in Brazil monitored the progress of the experiment. What they found was that after an initial period in which the target mosquito population markedly declined, after about 18 months the mosquito population recovered to pre-release levels. Not only that, the paper noted that some of the mosquitos likely have “hybrid vigor,” in which a hybrid of the natural with the gene-edited created “a more robust population than the pre-release population” which may be more resistant to insecticides, in short, resistant “super mosquitoes.” That Brazil Oxitec study concluded, “It is unclear how this may affect disease transmission or affect other efforts to control these dangerous vectors.”
In short, the genetic mutations were unpredictable. Another 2020 scientific study revealed that the “sterile” insects revert back to being fertile, resulting in resistant GMO populations persisting in the environment. The study, published by scientists in China, Germany and the USDA in the United States, shows that spontaneous mutations in laboratory flies can arise, leading to genetic resistance to the intended trait. In other words, “super flies,” or mosquitoes.
Moreover, it is not as if the incidence of dengue fever or Zika in the Florida Keys is a grave problem. According to the official CDC report, there was not one incidence in all the US in 2020 of Zika from the indigenous population and only 4 from foreign travelers. As to the far milder and rarely fatal dengue fever, with symptoms similar to flu, in 2020 there were some 26 cases in the Florida Keyes. That was the first outbreak in almost ten years. Suspiciously, it was a small outbreak of dengue fever in 2010 that Oxitec used to argue for release of its gene edited mosquito in Florida. The new outbreak in 2020 was also suspiciously convenient for Oxitec’s effort to release the gene edited mosquitoes in Florida, which was approved in 2020.
Oxitec, Gates and DARPA
What further draws suspicion about the entire gene edited mosquito release in Florida is the fact that the Oxitec project is being supported by two highly controversial agencies—The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA. Gates— not only a major financial backer of the gene-edited COVID-19 “vaccines” of Pfizer and Moderna, and the largest private donor to the WHO–has funded gene-editing research for more than a decade. Gates is well aware of the malevolent potential of gene-editing technology. It can be used as a bioweapon maker. In 2016 Gates declared, “the next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus.” In July 2017, John Sotos, of Intel Health & Life Sciences, stated that gene editing research could “open up the potential for bioweapons of unimaginable destructive potential.”
In 2016 Gates’ foundation gave $1.6 million to the PR firm, Emerging Ag, to block a broad effort to get a UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) moratorium on gene drive technology until its safety could be established. According to emails obtained by ETC Group, Emerging Ag recruited more than 65 experts, including a Gates Foundation senior official, a DARPA official, and scientists who had received DARPA funding. They were successful.
DARPA has been working for several years on genetic editing of mosquitoes. Through its “Insect Allies” program, DARPA has been working, using CRISPR gene-editing and gene drive technologies, on manipulating the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The US Department of Defense has spent at least $100 million in the controversial technology known as “gene drives,” making the US military a top funder and developer of the gene-modifying technology. “Gene drives are a powerful and dangerous new technology and potential biological weapons could have disastrous impacts on peace, food security and the environment, especially if misused,” said Jim Thomas, co-director of ETC Group, an environment safety group. “The fact that gene drive development is now being primarily funded and structured by the US military raises alarming questions about this entire field.”
Entomological warfare is a type of biological warfare that uses insects to transmit diseases. The Pentagon, using DARPA research, has allegedly performed such entomological tests secretly in the Republic of Georgia and Russia. Is the DARPA development, together with Gates’ foundation and Oxitec, of the gene edited mosquitoes a covert program in entomological warfare?
The Pentagon presently has top security bio laboratories in 25 countries across the world funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under a $ 2.1 billion military program– Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP). They are in former Soviet Union countries such as Georgia and Ukraine, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa. Among their projects, Phlebotomine sand fly species were collected under the heading, “Surveillance Work on Acute Febrile Illness,” in which all (female) sand flies were tested to determine their infectivity rate. A third project, also including sand flies collection, studied the characteristics of their salivary glands. This is weaponization research.
The controversial person picked by the Biden Administration to become the first Cabinet-level science advisor, Eric Lander, came from the MIT-Harvard Broad Institute. Lander is a specialist in gene drive and gene editing technologies and played a major role in the flawed US Human Genome Project. This is not the kind of science we need to be supporting. It is rather part of what is obviously a larger eugenics agenda, and Bill Gates is again playing a key role.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
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