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Joint mosquito research project comes to a close

The Mosquito Research and Control Unit has formally ended its joint collaboration with Oxitec on a 35-week program designed to pinpoint the best way to combat the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Minister: No more funds for genetically modified mosquito program

Cayman’s genetically modified mosquito project has not worked as effectively as government hoped and will be abandoned, Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said Thursday.

GM mosquito release halted

The release of genetically modified mosquitoes in Grand Cayman has stopped and no new public funds have been committed to the project for next year.

Letter: MRCU’s Wheeler responds

I would like to clarify the context of some of the email exchanges and specifically respond to what I consider to be unfair accusations against Mrs. Nancy Barnard.

Release of genetically modified mosquitoes to resume this month

A $588,000 project to test the effectiveness of genetically modified mosquitoes in combination with traditional control methods will begin later this month.

EDITORIAL – GM mosquito response (cont’d)

Ms. Barnard also emphasized her track record of honesty and commitment to transparency, providing several examples of such conduct in her career in government and the nonprofit sector.

Letter: MRCU responds to GeneWatch FOI release

New MRCU Director Jim McNelly Ph.D. says his team and Oxitec are in agreement on how, where and when to proceed with the evaluation. It will also be up to MRCU to evaluate what success will look like.

Scientists cast doubt on GM mosquito impact

The depth of skepticism among scientists at the Mosquito Research and Control Unit about the success of genetically modified mosquitoes in Grand Cayman is revealed in a cache of internal emails released following an open records request.

Oxitec responds to report

MRCU has rightfully carried out their due diligence with regards to the Friendly Mosquitoes solution and has always been supportive of the technology.

Emails reveal GM mosquito program impact was overstated

A government report contained inaccurate information that overstated the genetically modified mosquito program’s success, according to recently released internal emails between government and MRCU officials.

Government backs away from genetically modified mosquito rollout

A multimillion dollar plan for the islandwide rollout of Cayman’s genetically modified mosquito program has been significantly scaled back amid budget cuts and concerns that the technology has yet to fully prove itself.

Genetically modified mosquitoes in Cayman swat wild population

Genetically modified mosquitoes have made a significant impact in reducing  wild populations of the disease-spreading insects in the West Bay release area.

Islandwide GM mosquito release approved

The National Conservation Council on Wednesday unanimously approved the islandwide rollout of the genetically modified mosquito program without the need for a new independent risk assessment. Bill Petrie, head of the Mosquito Research and Control Unit, said a national program using the technique to fight the disease-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquito could begin in February next year.

Concern over national rollout of genetically modified mosquito project

Opponents of the use of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Cayman Islands say an application to use the technique island wide is “premature.”

GM mosquitoes making an impact in West Bay

The release of some 8 million genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay has had a significant impact in reducing populations of the disease-spreading insects in the targeted area, researchers say. Preliminary data from the MRCU shows that the GM males are successfully mating with females in the wild.

Florida Keys voters reject, and approve, GM mosquitoes

In dueling votes over a proposed trial of Oxitec’s genetically modified mosquitoes, voters across one Florida county supported releasing the insects, while voters in the town earmarked for the project rejected holding the trial there. Key Haven voted overwhelmingly Tuesday against the proposal, but voters in Monroe County supported holding the trial.
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New policy for vetting genetically modified imports

Future applications to bring alien species, including genetically modified organisms, into the Cayman Islands could face environmental impact assessments, similar to that required for major developments, under a new policy being devised by the National Conservation Council.

GM mosquitoes on track in West Bay trial

Residents of the Florida Keys go to the polls Nov. 8, deciding not just between presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but casting a vote on whether or not to test genetically modified mosquitoes on one small island near Key West.

A guide to Cayman’s public enemy No. 1: mosquitoes

The disease, disruption and dismay they cause, however, is world-class, beyond all proportion to their size. This is what you need to know about the seven genuses of mosquito that call the Cayman Islands home.

Oxitec’s GM mosquitoes starting to show impact

Researchers studying the release of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay say they are starting to see the gene show up in mosquito larvae, meaning those mosquitoes likely will not survive to adulthood.

Most support GM mosquito initiative, says survey

A new government survey found most people on Grand Cayman support the ongoing trial of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay.

Two local Zika cases confirmed

Two people in George Town are Cayman’s first official cases of locally transmitted Zika, according to public health officials. The islands have had six cases of Zika imported by people visiting other countries, but these are the first reported incidents of the virus being acquired locally.
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Premier: Opposition to GM mosquito release political grandstanding

Premier Alden McLaughlin, in a press statement Tuesday, criticized opponents of the genetically modified mosquito program, as the Public Health Department confirmed Cayman’s first local cases of Zika.

US gives green light to GM mosquito tests in Florida

As Oxitec and the Mosquito Research and Control Unit ramp up releases of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay, regulators in the U.S. gave the company the green light to test the GM mosquitoes on an island in the Florida Keys.

EDITORIAL – Keeping Cayman free of threatening ‘Zika mosquitoes’

Given the choice between the risks associated with “natural” Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (which carry nasty viruses like Zika, chikungunya, dengue and yellow fever) and the potential risks of “genetically modified” Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (which are engineered to reduce the wild population) – we find ourselves more and more inclined to give the GM mosquitoes a chance.

Exonerated

Judge explains mosquito project decision

When lawyers of opponents to the genetically modified mosquito project filed an application for a stay and judicial review on July 13 – a review that could have ended the project – Justice Ingrid Mangatal suddenly had more than 598 pages worth of evidence and documents to review.

GM Mosquitoes

Mosquito ‘control’ that doesn’t

We cannot keep pumping insecticide into the environment and hope to win against the mozzies.
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Judge: GM mosquito project can proceed

The release of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay can proceed, after a Grand Court judge on Tuesday refused an application for another stay of the project.

Judge rejects GM mosquito review

A Grand Court judge on Monday refused an application for a judicial review that could have stopped the planned release of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay.

NEW: Judge denies request to halt GM mosquito release

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.

Judge to rule Monday on release of GM mosquitoes

A judge will deliver her ruling on Monday on whether millions of genetically modified mosquitoes can be released in West Bay.
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Judicial review of GM mosquito plan gets under way

A lawyer representing opponents of a planned release of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay told a judicial review Tuesday that a “proper risk assessment” of the project had not been done.

House-to-house survey begins on mosquito plan

Biotechnology company Oxitec, in collaboration with the Mosquito Research and Control Unit, is conducting an island-wide survey on the level of awareness about mosquito-borne diseases, including Zika, chikungunya and dengue.

Mosquito release halted by legal challenge

The planned release of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay, scheduled to begin Thursday morning, has been halted after a judge granted...
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UPDATE – Legal action pauses GM mosquito release

Opponents of the planned release of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay are taking legal action in an effort to halt the operation, which is scheduled to begin Thursday.

Inside the mosquito ‘factory’

Ahead of the release of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay, scheduled to begin Thursday, the Mosquito Research and Control Unit and U.K. biotech firm Oxitec invited members of the media for an inside look of the new lab, where half a million male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are being bred.

Lunch time

GM mosquitoes to be released next week

The release of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay is to begin next week, government announced Thursday.

Six suspected Zika cases await results

Public Health Department officials said Wednesday they are awaiting test results on six suspected cases of the Zika virus.

GM Mosquitoes

EDITORIAL – Things we detest: Red tape and mosquito bites

The planned release of genetically modified mosquitoes was delayed because — read carefully — the Cayman Islands government was unable to obtain a government permit.

Flight delay

GM mosquito release delayed

The planned release of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay, scheduled to begin in mid-June, has been put off until this month because of delays in securing a permit, according to the Mosquito Research and Control Unit and Oxitec representatives.

West Bay MLAs call for GM mosquito release delay

West Bay opposition MLAs are calling for the suspension of plans to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in their district.

GM mosquitoes too risky

Tourist dumbfounded by the government-approved genetically modified mosquito program.

Petition calls for halt to GM mosquito release

More than 570 people have signed an online petition calling for the Cayman Islands government to suspend plans to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in the district of West Bay.

Make my day

EDITORIAL – No buzz for mosquito meetings

The unfortunate news for the Cayman Islands (and most places on Planet Earth) is that the overwhelming majority of people just don’t care that much about topics that, objectively, fall squarely in the “public interest.”

Scientists move to quell GM mosquito concerns

Cayman’s Mosquito Research and Control Unit and U.K. biotech company Oxitec tackled questions Tuesday night from West Bay residents concerned about the planned release of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in their neighborhood.

Meeting on GM Mosquito release

The Mosquito Research and Control Unit and biotechnology company Oxitec are inviting the public to attend a meeting Tuesday night to discuss the planned release of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay.

Millions of GM mosquitoes to be released

The National Conservation Council has granted permit approval for the release of up to 22 million genetically modified mosquitoes in Grand Cayman over the next nine months.

Genetically engineered mosquitoes to be released in Grand Cayman

Genetically engineered mosquitoes will be released across Grand Cayman in the coming year, starting in West Bay, in an effort to control the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes responsible for spreading Zika, dengue and other viruses.

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