GUINEA PIGS

Mosquitoes have always been a problem in the Florida keys. Fortunately there has existed for years a Mosquito Control Board in the keys that controls the problem. Not cheap to do.

Genetically modified organisms are on the scene. Male mosquitoes will be genetically modified which ultimately will result in very few mosquitoes being born. Mosquitoes which specifically carry dengue fever. Dengue fever is the concern.

A British company called Qxitec has come up with the GMO mosquito process. The process has only been tested in one place. Africa. Results not yet known.

The Mosquito Control board wants to test the use of  GMO mosquitoes. The Board plans to use Key Haven as its testing ground. I live in Key Haven. It is a relatively small island 2.5 miles outside Key West.

I believe money is the Board’s primary motivation. I recall reading somewhere a year ago that the use of GMO mosquitoes would dramatically reduce the costs of operation.

Qxitec and the Board have yet to receive necessary federal approvals to proceed with what in fact would be a test. It is anticipated the feds will give permission.

The dengue fever problem is not of consequence in the keys. 2009 and 2010 saw 22 and 66 cases respectively. There have been no dengue fever cases since. World wide, the cases are in the millions. Also there have been outbreaks in the past two years of consequence in the Miami area.

I dislike being a guinea pig for the GMO mosquitoes. I do not want the test to be conducted on and over Key Haven. My concern is a health one. No one knows what the consequences will be. I am worried the process may have a bad consequence. What happens 10 years from now if after effects are experienced? Cancer for one.

The plan is not for me and my grandchildren who play and swim at my home. Selfish, but that is the way I feel.

I sat with real writers yesterday. Rick and Cynthia Boettger and Pru Sowers. We met at Rick and Cynthia’s for a drink and some chatter. I enjoyed the experience.

I fell again. Second time in three weeks. As I entered the house for the first time and walked through the living room into the kitchen, I did not notice there was step down into the kitchen. Down I went! Embarrassing. This morning my whole right side hurts.

I have to stop falling down. It is either old age or I do not march where I am walking. I suspect it is the latter. What really bothers me is that I am my father’s child. He started falling down at my age.

Afterwards, stopped at Don’s Place. Chatted with Don, David, Stan, Clare, Nate and John. The topic bocce. What else?

We play bocce tonight. The team is doing great. We are 12-4. The best start ever. Hope we can keep it going.

It was John’s birthday yesterday. Belated greetings, John!

Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town for dinner on the way home.

The Republicans are on a roll. Their proposed budget includes cuts in Social Security. I would like to see members of Congress trying to live on $1,000 to $1,500 a month. They also want to cut food stamps. 46.5 million are presently on food stamps. Food stamps do not buy much. Whatever, the Republicans apparently want those less fortunate eat bread.

Enjoy your day!

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