Wednesday, January 13, 2016

GM insects for disease control should be trialled in the UK, says House of Lords Committee

by Arthur Foxake

Staking its claim as a leading contender for "science worshipping idiot of the year, The Canary blog pubshished this in December 2012.

"Genetically modified (GM) insects could be trialled in the UK to prevent the transmission of disease and reduce agricultural pests. That’s if the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee get their way.
The Committee’s report, released on Thursday 17 December 2015, discusses the results of an inquiry into the science and potential benefits and risks of using genetically modified insects as a tool to tackle major challenges of food security and human and animal health.

The committee concluded that the UK’s considerable expertise in this area and the potential of the technology in, for example, stamping out malaria, which has already been shown in overseas field trials (for example, by University of Oxford spin-out Oxitec), warrants a UK-based field trial."

The science besotted idiot who wrote the piece completely ignores the obvious flaws in this plan and starts burbling enthusiastically about how releasing GM mosquitos in Britain will eradicate disease, poverty, unemployment, football hooliganism, Islamic terrorism and soggy pizzas (OK, I may be exaggerating for comic effect, but only slightly.).

Several species of biting mosquitoes (as opposed to non biting mosquitos? They're bloodsuckers FFS.) can carry malaria, which is one of the world’s greatest causes of severe illness (such as malaria) and death (from malaria). Although we don’t currently see people getting infected with malaria in the UK, the article warns, climate change is making the habitat more favourable for this to happen. Well OK, and it will happen sooner if people start releasing mosquitos of non native types capable of carrying malaria into the environment.

The only way to be sure of preventing malaria, as well as other mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue and chikungunya viruses, is to avoid being bitten by a mosquito in an area where the disease is circulating. And that is the aim of scientists creating GM mosquitoes that are sterile (either the male, in the case of Oxitec, or the female, in a technique developed by Imperial College London) and have been successful in reducing local populations of the insects by up to 95% in overseas trials.

Common sense of course suggests that it would be more wise to leave things as they are because the only cases of those tropical diseases occur in the tropics. But when was common sense ever a consideration for scientists. The thing they fear more than any other is that one day the research grants might run out and they will have to get proper jobs and GET SOME FUCKING WORK DONE. So these clever fools have worked out that if they can create problems, the government will pay them to find solutions. Who gives a fuck how many people suffer or die as a result of such idiocy, harmful consequences of their fuckwittery are never a consideration for scientists. In fact the more people that suffer and die, the bigger the research grants will be.

There are preventative drugs available, but science pushers argue the malaria parasite is becoming resistant and, although there was a successful trial of a vaccine reported in summer 2015, it will still be a while before it is available. Even then, this is only about 30% effective. And what makes anyone think that GM mosquitoes immunising people in an uncontrolled way is going to work(unless the scientists have created a GM collie dog to function as a mozzie dog in the way collies have herded sheep for hundreds of years.

The report concludes GM mosquitoes will probably not be a “silver bullet” against malaria. and other mosquito-borne diseases. OK, then, so it is just another exercise in the science of flushing taxpayers money down the toilet.

scientific pipedreamproposed use for GM insects is in agriculture.

With a food security crisis already wreaking havoc in many parts of the world as, thanks to science incrasing birthrates, eradicating disease and increasing life span without considering the consequences (sic), agriculture must be made more more indisrialised and intensive (the scientists report uses the term sustainable but the increases in productivity gained through scientists meddling with nature come at a huge and unpredictable environmental cost.

The techniques where GM is used to control agricultural pests are similar to those aimed at bringing down the population of disease-carrying insects. The idea is that you release sterile individuals into a wild population and within a fairly short period the failure in reproduction leads to the reduction of numbers, without the use of costly and potentially harmful pesticides. The usual idiotic leap of logic there is that unmodified insects will choose to mate only with sterile specimens. Again the problem of our inability to control insects behaviour in the environment is ignored.

The only effect of this project us ordinary punters are likely to feel is an increase in our taxes as governments have to fund clearing up the various messes these poorly though through projects are.


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