May 11, 2021

The Editor Speaks: The judge was fair now live with it!

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Colin Wilsonweb2Justice Ingrid Mangatal’s ruling the Department of Environment and the National Conservation Council had not acted unfairly or irrationally when they approved the licence application by the Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) or that insufficient public consultation had taken place was fair and Dwene Ebanks should live with it.

The judge was very kind to Ebanks, who was representing a local group of activists stirred up by some of the press, who are opposed to the release of the genetically modified mosquitoes. She didn’t make him pay for the court costs. We, the public, have to pay that and for the thousands of mosquitoes that had to be destroyed.

Ebanks also put us all at risk with this unnecessary delay that I am convinced is politically motivated and even had the gall to state the government was putting our lives at risk. He even said the government was attempting to shut down those who were questioning it!

Where were all the hundreds of people when the Oxitec and government officials were in West Bay to answer people’s questions who had legitimate concerns, immediately it was announced? There were less than 20 then!

But Ebanks said on local TV that he is still going to fight on without disclosing exactly what he is going to do,

I pray the media do not give him any more backing so he can cause more mischief and danger to the people, especially pregnant women, in our country.

There are plenty of hot heads and antigovernment people out there.

I wish they would give more time to many other legitimate causes like parental guidance to their children. Helping the police catch the criminals that many seem to be hiding out in West Bay.

Then there are the gangs.

Then there is the poor, the needy, the hungry. If he can’t think of something then give me a call.

You lost Dwene, your legal fees are being paid by Mr X so it hasn’t cost you anything. Now please go home and live with it.

And keep your windows shut, wear shirts with long sleeves, and don’t go out when the sun goes down or when it is coming up.

Mozzies are around and at the moment they can give you Zika, chikungunya and dengue, thanks entirely to you.


After writing this I was drawn to a letter posted on the Cayman Compass website from Paul Reiter, a graduate of  “Giglioli university of mosquitology” (1969-71).  He says he is a “specialist in mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases, working on five continents on a range of nasties: yellow fever, dengue, West Nile, chikungunya, Saint Louis encephalitis and others, plus sorties into malaria, river blindness, ebola and so on. I spent 22 years with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, including 14 at the CDC Dengue Branch, followed by 12 as Professor at the Pasteur Institute, Paris.”

He makes a VERY strong case that “we spend millions of dollars dumping insecticides on our populations … and still get sick. Our current methods of control … don’t control.”

He goes on to say:

So, there is a desperate need for new and innovative means of attack. At present, there are three major contenders:

A parasitic bacterium, Wolbachia, that spreads through the mosquito population, supposedly making them less able to transmit viruses;
An insecticidal hormone called pyriproxyphen that disrupts the metamorphosis of the mosquito larvae; and,
The transgenic mosquito that Oxitec have produced.

I have tested the Oxitec product in my laboratory in Paris and to me it is a really exciting advance, the most promising of all three.

That is why I am sad, even frustrated, that some people are spreading rumors and anxiety about its use. Here we have a new approach that is effective but does not use toxic insecticides and it is being rejected as “unsafe” by various people.”

Here I make a few points:

People think of a “sterile male” that stops females laying viable eggs. Not so. The males have a small piece of genetic code (a “gene”) that, when mated with a wild female, produce larvae that cannot survive in nature. That code is unique to the mosquito, to Aedes aegypti, not any other species.
Rumors have been launched that the gene can jump to other insects with the same result. Not so. A mosquito cannot mate with a fly or a butterfly or a bee! So how can the gene jump species?
Rumors have been launched that, in Brazil, the mosquito gene inserted itself into the gene of the Zika virus and this combination is responsible for the hideous microcephaly. This one is really malicious. First of all, the genes of a mosquito are DNA whereas the virus is RNA; you cannot insert one into the other. Secondly, Zika-associated microcephaly appeared nearly two years before the Oxitec trials in Brazil, in outbreaks in Polynesia, particularly Tahiti, rather a long way from Brazil!

These are the three most common misconceptions over the Oxitec product.

There is also a more generalized fear that all genetically modified organisms are somehow inherently dangerous, despite the fact that nearly all corn and soy grown in the U.S. is genetically modified and that Americans have been eating the stuff for 20 years without problem.

I hope Dwene you read this letter and made sure your ill-informed supporters read it too. If you haven’t and our readers haven’t I urge you to. You can find it at:



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