The latest contagious virus freaking out the globe, particularly women worried about birth defects, may have been caused by the presence of genetically-modified mosquitoes (GMMs) in Brazil.
With international health experts convening in Geneva to discuss the outbreak of and possible cures for the Zika virus, questions are being raised as to whether the GMMs are to blame.
In mid-2012, British biotech company Oxitec released the super bugs with the aim of reducing the overall mosquito population that spreads dengue fever, the Zika virus, and chikungunya in northeast Brazil.
At the time, concerns were raised about the release of GMMs without further studies into possible side effects.
“It’s a very experimental approach which has not yet been successful and may cause more harm than good,” Dr Helen Wallace, director of GeneWatch, told the Guardian in 2012.
The first cases of Zika in humans were reported in the south American country last May with up to 1.5 million now thought people affected by the virus, which Oxitec’s critics note is the same area where the GMMs were released. Full Report