There’s been quite a bit of news recently on the Zika virus that poses a tremendous threat to humans and the possible solution provided by a genetically engineered mosquito.  Here’s a bit of information on that subject and a few other recent items of interst…

“As the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) reports that the Zika virus is “spreading explosive” in the Americas and discussion regarding whether a public health emergency should be declared there is a GM mosquito that might be able to help in this situation.”

How mosquitoes with ‘self-destruct’ genes could save us from Zika virus — read the story here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/01/29/heres-how-gm-mosquitos-with-self-destruct-genes-could-save-us-from-zika-virus/

Another piece by John J. Cohrssen and Henry I. Miller at Forbes.com also explores the issue.

“The Oxitec and gene drive approaches could be the breakthroughs that spell the beginning of the end for malaria, dengue, Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases and relegate them to the history books, as medical science has done for polio and smallpox.”

However, “Up to now, the government has been part of the problem rather than the solution” as the approval process for genetic engineering is hampered by a hostile regulatory process.

Their column, We Can Beat Zika And Malaria–If The FDA Allows,  can be seen here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2016/01/29/eliminating-zika-and-malaria-will-require-real-leadership-and-more-responsive-regulation/#383f6ebb117e

Ronald Bailey also at a good recent blog post at Reason.com which can be read in just a minute and gives a terrific overview – see it here: http://reason.com/blog/2016/01/26/zika-virus-outbreak-unleash-the-gmo-mosq

 

Then regarding trade issues, unfortunately, there’s a case of deja vu from last year’s West Coast ports shut down. According to various reports, including New York-Area Ports Shut Down as Longshoremen Walk Off the Job at the New York Times, maybe it’s now happening at the busiest ports on the East Coast, according

“Thousands of longshoremen in New York and New Jersey walked off the job on Friday, grinding activity at the busiest ports on the East Coast to a halt and threatening to disrupt the delivery of goods across the region. The walkout surprised many involved in the operation of the ports, according to officials, and the reasons behind the move were not immediately clear.”

Go here to see the story at the New York Timeshttp://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/30/nyregion/new-york-area-ports-longshoremen.html

On the GMO labeling front, US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack had been trying to help find some common ground recently on the GMO labeling issues.  But as reported in Politico’s Morning Agriculture it appears that didn’t work out – GMO labeling advocate: ‘Not enough common ground’ in Vilsack meetings .

And then, every so often the activist French Professor Gilles-Éric Séralini must try to make news.  This time it’s even more confusing that normal as written about at Genetic Literacy Project in The story behind Séralini’s disappearing GMOs-are-toxic study, and the journal that published it by Nicholas Starpoli.