Seriously. The big thing where this comes out is GMOs. They’re proven safe and regulated up the ass, and people stick their fingers in their ears and go “FRANKENFOOD! FRANKENFOOD!” instead of listening to reason. There’s legitimate concerns in terms of Monsanto, but even those concerns get framed in terms of “the evils of GMOs” and not “the evils of Monsanto”. It’s like watching people blame T-shirts for American Apparel.
The latest bit of willful ignorance I saw was an email from Change.org about a petition asking the FDA to reject a test of anti-Dengue Fever GMO mosquitoes, pretty much on the basis of ‘freaky-lab-animal-cooties’. It even utilized the classic trope of coming-from-a-mom-so-the-facts-don’t-matter.
Except the factsdomatter. And the fact is, Genetically-modified sterile mosquitos are the way of the future, not just for the US, but for the world. Pesticides come in two varieties: wildly expensive and wildly toxic. Most of the world uses the latter.
In comparison, sterile mosquitos, which can only grow in a lab environment, are neither. Trials in Brazil have indicated sterile mosquitos can drop the population by as much as 85 percent. They’ll travel around, and take care of the problem. It’s actually pretty brilliant.
There are other GMO mosquitos in the works, too. Didja know the University of Arizona made a malaria-proof mosquito? As soon as they figure out how to give it enough of an edge to let it replace the malaria carrying mosquitos, it’s a matter of time before malaria is history.
Well, time and the number of fucking Luddites who care more about their own anti-science circlejerk bullshit than about actual people dying of very real diseases.