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No proposal to use GMO mosquitoes to combat dengue

March 8, 2015

GMO mosquito project that was conducted by his ministry in 2010 revealed that the method was not practical besides involving high costs.

dr-s-subramaniam-denggiALOR GAJAH: The Health Ministry currently has no proposal to use the genetically modified organism (GMO) method on mosquitoes to address the rise in dengue fever cases throughout the country.

Its minister S Subramaniam said this was because the GMO mosquito project that was conducted by his ministry in 2010 revealed that the method was not practical besides involving high costs.

He said scientific studies also revealed that the GMO mosquito method could not be used in a big area while there was public concern on the surrounding ecology.

“We will not use the (GMO mosquito) method if it does not bring about any results that we want,” he told reporters after officiating the 1Malaysia Indian community health program at the SJK Alor Gajah Tamil here yesterday.

Through the method, the specially designed male GMO mosquito is expected to mate with a normal female aedes mosquito but the eggs produced will soon die and inhibit the breeding of the next generation of mosquitoes.

The ministry estimated a cost of RM100 million to implement the GMO mosquito project in four selected states in the country.

Hence, Dr Subramaniam said besides normal methods such as fogging, awareness and enforcement campaigns, his ministry was also in the process of looking for ‘outside the box’ techniques to handle the infection.

These included new anti-mosquito spray technique that could be absorbed by building walls and could last up to three months, anti-mosquito pills and anti-mosquito wall paint, he said.

BERNAMA


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