A public relations staffer at Bill Gates-funded lab Oxitech sent NewsPunch an ultimatum yesterday: tell your readers that Oxitec’s genetically modified mosquitoes are harmless and will disappear one generation after being released into the wild, or else risk the wrath of Bill Gates and social media “fact checkers.”
The chilling ultimatum was sent by the Bill Gates funded laboratory days after NewsPunch published an article titled Genetically-Modified Mosquitoes, Funded By Bill Gates, Approved for Release in US. The article reported that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just approved a plan to release millions of Bill Gates-funded genetically-modified mosquitos into parts of the US.
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The article contained quotes from an interview with a program manager an environmental advocacy group, highlighting grave concerns about the long-term consequences of releasing Bill Gates’ genetically modified mosquitoes into the wild.
It appears the NewsPunch article rattled Bill Gates’s cage.
In an email from the Oxitec Press Office, Donna Libenberg insisted that the NewsPunch article about Bill Gates’ GMO mosquitoes contained “numerous inaccuracies.” Conveniently, the Bill Gates-funded press officer provided “corrections” for NewsPunch to insert straight into the article to “correct the record.“
There are a few serious problems with this email.
First of all, the Oxitec press officer claims the project is not funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This is slight of hand, at best. Bill Gates himself admits that he has poured tens of millions of dollars into Oxitec. Check out the Bill and Melinda Gates website for proof. Regardless of whether Gates funded this particular project, Oxitec is a confirmed Gates-funded lab with a recent history of GMO mosquito research.
Second, the Oxitec press officer took issue with the concerns raised by Dana Perls, a program manager at Friends of the Earth, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental advocacy group.
“Once you release these mosquitos into the environment, you cannot recall them,” Perls said. “This could, in fact, create problems that we don’t have already.”
According to Oxitec, this is incorrect: “Oxitec mosquitoes released into the wild will disappear over time once releases stop.”
Oh right, sure… And we are supposed to simply take their word for that? What could possibly go wrong?
Oxitec also claim “Oxitec mosquitoes pose no threat to the environment and do not create a hybrid species, they mate with wild female Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes of which the offspring die.”
Again, are we just supposed to take Bill Gates’ and Oxitec’s word for the fact their GMO mosquitoes will magically disappear? History is littered with disastrous attempts to introduce invasive species that end up damaging land and water resources, carrying disease, preying on native species and competing with native plants and animals for food and shelter.
The GMO mosquito release is fiercely opposed by a significant portion of the local community in Florida, as well as environmental activists and experts. Many scientists say there are flaws with Oxitec’s plan and insufficient safety testing.
“I find this criminal, that we are being bullied into this experiment,” said one resident at a recent town hall meeting. “I find it criminal that we are being subjected to this terrorism by our own Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board.”
So why is Oxitec demanding that we change our reporting, erase the concerns of an environmental advocate, and operate as a mouthpiece for a Bill Gates laboratory?
Suffice to say, NewsPunch will NOT be bullied into pushing Gates’ propaganda on our readers. We will leave that job to the mainstream media and “fact-checkers.” They are so good at it!
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