Contrary to what Dr Lee Han Lim of IMR has written (‘GM mosquitoes: Procedure strictly complied with’ in The Sun, Feb. 6 , http://www.thesundaily.my/news/287130), the GM Aedes mosquitoes release was riddled with non-compliance of international biosafety standards, non-transparency, lack of public accountability and lack of proper due process prior to the GM mosquito release. Moreover, recently revealed data shows that survival rate of the GM mosquitoes can be as high as 15%, not the mere 3% that Dr. Lee claims.
CAP and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) are deeply concerned of the impending field release of Genetically Modified (GM) mosquitoes after the National Biosafety Board approved an application from the Institute of Medical Research to release GM male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
Following this, we are submitting a memorandum to the Malaysian Government raising our concerns on serious ethical, legal, public health and human rights issues which need to be addressed.
An Open Letter to the Government from Malaysian NGOs on genetically engineered Aedes aegypti mosquitoes
This is an open letter from organisations in Malaysia concerned by the recent Government approval to release GM mosquitoes for the purpose of a field experiment.
Kindly support our cause by highlighting the issue for the welfare of the public and the conservation of our environment by copying and personally sending this letter to its intended recipients.
S M Mohamed Idris
Consumers Association of Penang
The applicant and implementer of the field trial is the IMR which had developed the GM mosquitoes in a joint research with UK-based biotech company Oxitec Ltd. The field trial which was supposed to be carried out last December in uninhabited and inhabited sites in the districts of Bentong, Pahang and Alor Gajah, Melaka was reportedly delayed because of bad weather.