In response to our recent Dispatch item about how genetically engineered mosquitoes could provide health benefits, Dispatch reader Dr. Tom Goerke said the following:
Regarding the release of the GM mosquitoes, it should be pointed out that a similar technique has been utilized in the US in the past. Many years ago it was very difficult to raise livestock in the southern US because of a problem with "screw worms", which are the larvae of a particular type of fly that feeds on the flesh of animals, including humans. The flies were almost totally eliminated in the late 1950's through the release of GM (irradiated) flies. The technique was developed by USDA entomologists and carried out by the USDA. It has been considered to be one of the 25 greatest achievements in the history of the beef cattle industry in the US.
Dr. Goerke is a professor of animal and food science at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. We here at ACSH appreciate his comment, which is yet another example of the position of knowledgeable scientists with respect to genetic engineering. Thanks, Dr. Goerke.