Please do not approve genetically modified mosquitoes!
Dear [Decision Maker],
I was distressed to learn that Oxitec, a British biotech company, plans to release an experimental mosquito population genetically engineered to combat dengue fever, even though there have been no cases of dengue fever reported in the Florida Keys since 2010. The company has been preparing for FDA approval to use Key West as a test population, which is expected to happen within the first two months of 2015.
Of particular concern is the fact that a recent study showed that the same GM mosquitoes released in Brazil did not, in fact, lead to a drop in dengue fever. In fact, there are concerns in Brazil that GM mosquitoes could make dengue outbreaks worse, since a second more invasive species could move into the ecological niche left by lowered populations of the target species. How will the genetically modified mosquitoes affect the bat population that relies on them for food? Animals feeding off of GMOs have numerous adverse health effects. Where are the peer-reviewed safety studies to support Oxitec's safety claims? What evidence led the FDA to deem this new population of mosquitoes ecologically safe? Your agency has not been at all transparent about the grounds they used to clear the clinical trial for safety. You are allowing an extraordinary risk to the environment and to human health to be introduced without controls, despite the lack of effectiveness when the same approach was tried in Brazil, and the tremendous pushback that is occurring from the citizens of Florida. Please, Dr. Hamburg, do NOT allow approval of these "frankenmosquitoes"!
[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]