Billionaire Bill Gates, who is funding the project, “assures” us it’s not a scene from a horror movie.
Inside a two-story brick building in Medellín, Colombia, scientists work in muggy labs breeding 30 million genetically modified mosquitoes weekly in labs. They tend to the insects’ every need as they grow from larvae to pupae to adults, keeping the temperature just right and feeding them generous helpings of fishmeal, sugar, and, of course, blood. They are then released into the wild in 11 countries.
The mosquitoes are released in Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, New Caledonia, and Vanuatu – eleven countries total.
Gates plans to breed hundreds of millions of Wolbachia mosquitoes. Did Gates and his researchers consider all the variables that are likely to occur with a program where a new vector of spreading a bacteria by an insect that bites humans and other animals and, in the process, injects that bacteria into them? Where is the one, two, five, and ten-year report on the safety of such a program from a controlled environment?
What could possibly go wrong?