Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mosquito Bioweapons: The History of Testing Inside the United States

Brandon Turbeville

Activist Post

December 25, 2011

With the recent announcement by UK-based biotechnology firm Oxitec that the company would be releasing thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes in Southern Florida as early as January, 2012, GM opponents, environmentalists, and a diverse group of Floridians have issued calls to suspend the experiment at least until further tests have been undertaken. Many are simply calling for informed consent protocol to be followed such as is required by law.
Yet, unfortunately, a great many of the responses to the GE (genetically engineered) mosquito release are missing the deeper agenda which is at work here. Undoubtedly, the sordid history of experimental tests involving mosquitoes, mosquito-borne illnesses, and uninformed and unwitting humans has been largely overlooked.
For instance, many of the articles I have read over the last few days dealing with this issue have made the claim that the release scheduled for early January would be the first ever of this type of experiment in the United States. This, however, is not the case; and considering the history of such testing -- specifically that conducted via the release of mosquitoes -- the American people should be very concerned.
I, myself, wrote a detailed article close to a year ago, entitled “Viruses and the GM Insect 'Flying Vaccine' Solution,” in which I chronicled the experiments that have taken place over the years both inside and outside of the United States involving mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses, specifically Dengue Fever.
That being said, it has already been discussed in other recent presentations after my initial article in 2010 how, under the guise of eradicating Dengue Fever, GM mosquitoes were released into the environment in the Cayman Islands in 2009.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne, virus-based disease that has largely been non-existent in North America for several decades. Dengue Fever can morph into a much more dangerous form of the illness known as Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. Symptoms of Dengue Fever are high fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, easy bruising, joint, muscle and bone pain, rash, and bleeding from the gums. There is no known treatment for Dengue Fever besides adequate rest and drinking plenty of water.
Generally speaking, it is one specific type of mosquito, Aedes Aegypti, which transmits the virus.
The publicly given method for using these GM mosquitoes to eradicate Dengue Fever was that the genetically modified mosquitoes were “engineered with an extra gene, or inserted bacterium, or have had a gene altered so that either their offspring are sterile and unable to spread dengue, or simply die.” More specifically, the male GM mosquitoes are supposed to mate with natural females which produce larvae that die unless tetracycline, an antibiotic, is present. Without the antibiotic, an enzyme accumulates to a level that is toxic enough to kill the larvae.
It is important to note that these GM mosquitoes, known as OX513A, necessarily have to be of the Aedes Aegypti type in order to achieve the goals publicly stated by the developers. Therefore, the millions of male mosquitoes that were released into the open-air environment in 2009, and again in 2010, were all of the Dengue-carrying type.
It is also important to note that the company’s popular claim that the GM mosquitoes are sterile is patently false. They are not sterile. If they were, they would not be able to produce offspring with the tetracycline-dependent gene.
The OX513A mosquitoes were developed by a British biotechnology company named Oxitec, and their subsequent release was overseen by the Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) in the Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory.
Although Oxitec Limited was the developer who engaged in most of the groundwork for the GM insects, the project was not theirs alone. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, The PEW Charitable Trusts, and government agencies in the United States, England, Malaysia, and others were all involved in the development and promotion of the GM mosquitoes, along with Oxford University, an institution to which Oxitec is closely related. Indeed, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation even went so far as to award Oxitec part of a $20 million consortium grant with which to conduct the research regarding genetically modified mosquitoes.
What has been quite suspicious, however, is the fact that Dengue fever, which has been nonexistent in North America for decades, has begun to resurface in Florida. Initially, the fever was found in 2009, but by 2010 the cases had vastly increased. In July 2010, a CDC study was released to very little media attention indicating that about 10 percent of the population of Key West had been infected with Dengue fever. This had doubled from 2009 where 5 percent had been infected. One might wonder what caused a virus that had been almost entirely eradicated to suddenly reappear with such vigor. That is, one might wonder if the answer weren’t so blatantly obvious. Of course, official reports do not address whether or not the Dengue fever is connected to the millions of mosquitoes capable of carrying the fever which were released just miles away in the Cayman Islands.
While Dengue fever had been eradicated in terms of naturally occurring outbreaks in the United States, cases that were research-related and laboratory-generated have occurred in the country for many years. This is because Dengue fever has been of particular interest to the United States government, US Army, and CIA since at least the middle part of the 20th century. There is a great deal of evidence suggesting that the biochemical research facilities at Fort Detrick were conducting tests on Dengue fever as a bio-weapon as far back as 1942. It is generally known that in the 1950s the CIA partnered with Ft. Detrick to study Dengue fever and other exotic diseases for use as biological weapons.

It is also interesting to note that, according to CIA documents, as well as a 1975 congressional committee, the three locations of Key West, Panama City, and Avon Park (and two other locations in central Florida) were testing sites for Dengue fever research.
As is generally the case, the experiments in Avon Park were concentrated in low-income neighborhoods, in areas that were predominantly black with newly constructed housing projects. According to H.P. Albarelli Jr. and Zoe Martell of Truthout, CIA documents related to the MK/NAOMI program revealed that the agency was using the Aedes Aegypti type of mosquito in these experiments as well. In one of these experiments, 600,000 mosquitoes were released over Avon Park; and in another, 150,000 insects were released in paper bags that were specially designed to open up when they hit the ground.
Truthout interviewed residents (or test subjects) of Avon Park still living in the area who related that there were at least 6 or 7 deaths resulting from the experiments. As quoted by Truthout, one resident said, “Nobody knew about what had gone on here for years, maybe over 20 years, but in looking back it explained why a bunch of healthy people got sick quick and died at the time of those experiments.” Truthout goes on to point out that around the same time of the Avon Park experiments “there were at least two cases of Dengue fever reported among civilian researchers at Fort Detrick in Maryland.”
In 1978, a Pentagon document titled, “Biological Warfare: Secret Testing & Volunteers” revealed that similar experiments were conducted in Key West by the Army Chemical Corps and Special Operations and Projects Divisions at Fort Detrick.
Like the current situation, U.S. government agencies teamed with NGOs, academia, and other organizations to conduct mosquito-related projects. Operation Bellweather, a 1959 experiment consisting of over 50 field tests, was conducted over several states including Georgia, Maryland, Utah, and Arizona, and Florida. Operation Bellweather was coordinated with the Rockefeller Institute in New York; the facility that actually bred the mosquitoes. What's more, the experiment was aided by the Armour Research Foundation, the Battelle Memorial Institute, Ben Venue Labs, Inc., the University of Florida, Florida State University, and the Lovell Chemical Company.
The military and CIA connections to Dengue fever outbreaks do not end with these experiments, however. It is widely believed that the 1981 outbreak in Cuba was a result of CIA and U.S. military covert biological attacks. This outbreak occurred essentially out of nowhere and resulted in over one hundred thousand cases of infection. Albarelli and Martell write:
American researcher William H. Schaap, an editor of Covert Action magazine, claims the Cuba Dengue outbreak was the result of CIA activities. Former Fort Detrick researchers, all of whom refused to have their names used for this article, say they performed ‘advance work’ on the Cuba outbreak and that it was ‘man made.’

In 1982 the CIA was accused by the Soviet media of sending operatives into Pakistan and Afghanistan for the purposes of creating a Dengue epidemic. Likewise, in 1985 and 1986, authorities in Nicaragua made similar claims against the CIA, also suggesting that they were attempting to start a Dengue outbreak.
While the CIA has characteristically denied involvement in all of these instances, army researchers have admitted to having worked intensely with “arthropod vectors for offensive biological warfare objectives” and that such work was conducted at Fort Detrick in the 1980s. Not only that, but researchers have also admitted that large mosquito colonies, which were infected with both yellow fever and Dengue fever, were being maintained at the Frederick, Maryland facility.
There is also evidence of experimentation with federal prisoners without their knowledge. As Truthout reports:
Several redacted Camp Detrick and Edgewood Arsenal reports indicate that experiments were conducted on state and federal prisoners who were unwittingly exposed to Dengue fever, as well as other viruses, some possibly lethal.
With all of the evidence that CIA and military tests have been conducted regarding Dengue fever, there is ample reason to be concerned when one sees a connection like the recent release of mosquitoes and the subsequent outbreak of Dengue fever in Florida, a traditional testing site for these organizations.
The response to the Dengue outbreak should also be questioned as aerial spraying campaigns were intensified. While these sprayings were claimed to be for the eradication of the Dengue-carrying mosquitoes, the number of people who contracted the illness actually rose.
Clearly, the announcement that experiments are being conducted involving genetically modified mosquitoes, mosquito-borne illnesses, and especially Dengue fever, should be met with great concern and heavy skepticism in regards to the true purpose of the experiments. Considering the track record of corporations, governments, intelligence agencies, foundations, and academia, there is no logical reason why anyone should trust any of these institutions with their progress and well-being.
Indeed, in light of this recently announced experiment, one should question just who is the test subject – the insect or the human.

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