NEW: Judge denies request to halt GM mosquito release

Oxitec project manager Renaud Lacroix puts a batch of GM mosquitoes into a freezer to destroy them earlier this month. - Photo: Kelsey Jukam

A Grand Court judge Monday refused an application for a judicial review to stop the planned release of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay.

The release of the GM mosquitoes remains on hold pending another hearing scheduled for Tuesday, during which Justice Ingrid Mangatal will present the reasons for which she refused the judicial review application.

The opponents to the GM mosquito release program indicated they intended to appeal the judge’s decision and are requesting another stay of the release. They initially applied to the court for a stay of the project and for judicial review on July 13, a day before the first batch of the mosquitoes were scheduled to be released.

The application for judicial review sought to review the May 18 decision of the National Conservation Council, which granted a permit to the Cayman Islands Mosquito Research and Control Unit and British company Oxitec for the import and release of up to 22 million mosquitoes in West Bay.

“In essence, the challenge is mounted on the basis that the NCC’s decision is flawed on the basis of illegality and irrationality,” Justice Mangatal said during the brief hearing Monday at which she delivered her ruling.

“I have examined the grounds carefully … I have found that none of the grounds have been made and the judicial review application is therefore refused.”

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Cayman Compass.


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