Online poll GM mosquitoes no big concern

Almost 60 per cent of the 369 respondents to last week’s caycompass.com online poll support the government’s release of genetically modified mosquitoes on Grand Cayman in an effort to reduce the risk of dengue fever.

Although supportive of the measure, the largest segment of respondents – 116 people or 31.4 per cent – believe the government should have told the public more about the project before releasing the mosquitoes.

“The government really should be more forthcoming about such things,” said one person.

“I have a Bachelor’s of Science in genetics and I fully understand the process involved,” said someone else. “I could have provided some honest input if only the public was informed prior to the release.”

“I support it, but I don’t like it,” said another person. “It’s actually a little scary.”

The second largest segment of respondents, 103 people or 27.9 per cent, said the release of the genetically modified mosquitoes was fine with them.

“I think it’s amazing and I don’t know why anyone would be opposed to it,” said one person.

“Why can’t they just eradicate the mosquitoes?” asked someone else.

Another 62 people – 16.8 per cent – thought the potential risks were greater than the potential rewards.

“I think they should tested this in a unpopulated area first,” said one person.

“The mongoose was released in Jamaica to kill rats, and they wiped out the local snake population,” said someone else. “Africanised honeybees are taking over the southern US after accidentally being released. Lesson learned – never mess with nature.”

“Point blank – the Government should have told the public before doing it,” said another respondent. “But then again, what’s new? A lot goes on that we aren’t informed of.”

Forty-two people – 11.4 per cent – said they were outraged by the release of genetically modified mosquitoes on Grand Cayman.”

“Just leave our mosquitoes alone,” said one respondent. “God made them. Why didn’t these so-called scientists try this in their country? I wonder why?”

“Wait until it enters the food chain via fish,” said someone else.

A relatively large segment of respondents – 46 people or 12.5 per cent – answered “I don’t know” to the question.

“No scientific data was presented, so the public is not able to comment adequately,” said one person.

Next week’s poll

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